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Pleasures of BenthamismVictorian Literature, Utility, Political Economy$
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Kathleen Blake

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199563265

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199563265.001.0001

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Time and the Textile Industry Time and the Textile Industry Gaskell and Tagore

Time and the Textile Industry Time and the Textile Industry Gaskell and Tagore

(p.165) 6 Time and the Textile Industry Gaskell and Tagore
Pleasures of Benthamism

Kathleen Blake (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Chapter 6 addresses the principle of time, giving stepped‐up attention to history. It traces the development of the preeminent industry of the industrial revolution, linked to trade at home, abroad, and in the empire: the textile industry. For Smith, textiles exemplify unbounded demand for ‘conveniencies and ornaments of life;’ for Malthus and Ricardo, they exemplify innovation in production and shifting ‘comparative advantage’ in markets. Students of the period may be familiar with various facts of the cloth economy, in context of Britain or India, industrialization or imperialism. A more continuous account heightens awareness of momentous change. Novels by Gaskell and Tagore show different proportions of cost and benefit, while affirming material and social changes‐‐‐ notably for women and the lowly by class, caste, or religion‐‐‐that flow from the actualities of the fast‐paced Anglo‐Indian cloth economy and from the principles that drive it and that it carries with it.

Keywords:   class/caste, Gaskell, gender, India, Malthus, principle of time, Ricardo, Smith, Tagore, textile industry (if one more can be added: imperialism)

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