Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Consuming TraditionsModernity, Modernism, and the Commodified Authentic$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Elizabeth Outka

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195372694

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372694.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 January 2021

The Vanishing Act of Commercialism

The Vanishing Act of Commercialism

Selfridges, Modernity, and the Purified Marketplace

(p.99) 4. The Vanishing Act of Commercialism
Consuming Traditions

Elizabeth Outka (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that modernity in Britain was shaped in part by an explosion of department store efforts to sell authenticity through advertising and interior design. The chapter focuses on the revolutionary changes in marketing inaugurated by Selfridges department store when it opened in 1909. The store offered an unprecedented setting for authentic performance and provided its customers a complete education in creating and maintaining different kinds of authentic goods and spaces. In its advertisements, displays, and interior and exterior design, Selfridges worked to redefine shopping by systematically erasing distinctions between commerce and areas most Londoners would have assumed were separate from commercial concerns. The chapter is bookended by new readings of works by Henry James (“The Great Good Place”) and H. G. Wells (Tono-Bungay), exploring how these authors exemplify two central critical responses to commercial strategies that seek to market a noncommercial aura.

Keywords:   Selfridges department store, Henry James, The Great Good Place, H. G. Wells, Tono-Bungay

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .