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Slavery and the Culture of Taste$
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Simon Gikandi

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691140667

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691140667.001.0001

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Unspeakable Events

Unspeakable Events

Slavery and White Self-Fashioning

(p.97) 3 Unspeakable Events
Slavery and the Culture of Taste

Simon Gikandi

Princeton University Press

This chapter presents two instances of how slave money shaped the moment of taste in both pragmatic and conceptual terms. It provides a substantive exploration of the cultural traffic between Britain and its colonial outposts in order to show how the experience of slavery was turned into an aesthetic object that was woven into the fabric of everyday life. It then seeks to connect slave money and the power and prestige of art by focusing on the aesthetic lives of William Beckford and Christopher Codrington, famous heirs to slave fortunes, who sought to remake their social standing through the patronage of art and the mastery of taste.

Keywords:   slavery, slave money, taste, culture, Britain, William Beckford, Christopher Codrington

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