Britain in the nineteenth century saw a series of technological and social changes which continue to influence and direct us today. Its reactants were human genius, money and influence, its crucibles the streets and institutions, its catalyst time, its control the market. In this rich and fascinating book, James Hamilton investigates the vibrant exchange between culture and business in nineteenth-century Britain, which became a center for world commerce following the industrial revolution. He explores how art was made and paid for, the turns of fashion, and the new demands of a growing middle-class, prominent among whom were the artists themselves. While leading figures such as Turner, Constable, Landseer, Coleridge, Wordsworth, and Dickens are players here, so too are the patrons, financiers, collectors and industrialists; publishers, entrepreneurs, and journalists; artists' suppliers, engravers, dealers and curators; hostesses, shopkeepers and brothel keepers; quacks, charlatans, and auctioneers. Hamilton brings them all vividly to life in this kaleidoscopic portrait of the business of culture in nineteenth-century Britain, and provides thrilling and original insights into the working lives of some of the era's most celebrated artists.
James Hamilton is an art and cultural historian. His books include Turner: A Life, which was shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and A Strange Business: Making Art and Money in Nineteenth-Century Britain, which in 2014 was named Art Book of the Year by the Sunday Times. Hamilton has been the curator of an array of art collections and projects and is a Fellow of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.