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Privacy – Concealing the Eighteenth-Century Self - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Privacy: Concealing the Eighteenth-Century Self

Patricia Spacks


Today we consider privacy a right to be protected. But in eighteenth-century England, privacy was seen as a problem, even a threat. Women reading alone and people hiding their true thoughts from one another in conversation generated fears of uncontrollable fantasies and profound anxieties about insincerity. This book explores eighteenth-century concerns about privacy and the strategies people developed to avoid public scrutiny and social pressure. The book examines, for instance, the way people hid behind common rules of etiquette to mask their innermost feelings and how, in fact, people were ... More

Keywords: privacy, eighteenth-century England, insincerity, public scrutiny, social pressure, etiquette, pretense, hypocrisy, Defoe, Richardson

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780226768601
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226768618.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Patricia Spacks, author