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Political Economy and the Novel

A Literary History of "Homo Economicus"

Palgrave Macmillan

Authors:

(view affiliations)
  • Examines the history of the novel and the role economics has played

  • Contributes to new economic criticism

  • Examines canonical novels from Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Ayn Rand, and Don DeLillo

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USD 84.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-94325-1
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USD 109.99
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Table of contents (8 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xii
  2. Introduction

    • Sarah Comyn
    Pages 1-27
  3. The Contested Birth of Homo Economicus

    • Sarah Comyn
    Pages 29-61
  4. The Speculative World of Sanditon

    • Sarah Comyn
    Pages 63-92
  5. A Marginal Life in Great Expectations

    • Sarah Comyn
    Pages 93-132
  6. The Neoliberal Ideologue

    • Sarah Comyn
    Pages 173-208
  7. Coda

    • Sarah Comyn
    Pages 249-254
  8. Back Matter

    Pages 255-283

About this book

Political Economy and the Novel: A Literary History of ‘Homo Economicus’ provides a transhistorical account of homo economicus (economic man), demonstrating this figure’s significance to economic theory and the Anglo-American novel over a 250-year period. Beginning with Adam Smith’s seminal texts – Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations – and Henry Fielding’s A History of Tom Jones, this book combines the methodologies of new historicism and new economic criticism to investigate the evolution of the homo economicus model as it traverses through Ricardian economics and Jane Austen’s Sanditon; J. S. Mill and Charles Dickens’ engagement with mid-Victorian dualities; Keynesianism and Mrs Dalloway’s exploration of post-war consumer impulses; the a/moralistic discourses of Friedrich von Hayek, and Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged; and finally the virtual crises of the twenty-first century financial market and Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis. Through its sustained comparative analysis of literary and economic discourses, this book transforms our understanding of the genre of the novel and offers critical new understandings of literary value, cultural capital and the moral foundations of political economy.

Keywords

  • political economic writings
  • literary networks
  • homo economicus
  • American novels
  • American literature
  • novel theory
  • genre theory
  • John Maynard Keynes
  • economics in novels
  • Adam Smith
  • The Theory of Moral Sentiments
  • The Wealth of Nations
  • Henry Fielding
  • A History of Tom Jones: a foundling
  • Ricardian economics
  • Jane Austen Sandition
  • J.S. Mill
  • Charles Dickens
  • Don DeLillo
  • Ayn Rand

Reviews

Political Economy and the Novel: A Literary History of ‘Homo Economicus’ offers an engaging, well-researched, and original look at the reciprocal relationship between economic theory and imaginative literature, beginning with Adam Smith and Tom Jones in the 18th-century and ending with cryptocurrencies in the 21st century. Sarah Comyn showcases the impressive breadth and scope of economic thinking over a range of historical periods and across national borders, and offers exciting new ways of thinking about liberal individualism, character, and the novel. ” (Lana Dalley, Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and Linguistics, CSU Fullerton, USA)

Authors and Affiliations

  • University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

    Sarah Comyn

About the author

Sarah Comyn is Postdoctoral Fellow on the ERC-funded project SouthHem at University College Dublin, Ireland.


Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook
USD 84.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-94325-1
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD 109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD 109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)