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The ClosetThe Eighteenth-Century Architecture of Intimacy$
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Danielle Bobker

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691198231

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691198231.001.0001

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Miss C——y’s Cabinet of Curiosities

Miss C——y’s Cabinet of Curiosities

(p.114) 4 Miss C——y’s Cabinet of Curiosities
The Closet

Danielle Bobker

Princeton University Press

This chapter points out, according to Anthony Hamilton and Jonathan Swift, how closets can still represent the highly circumscribed sociability associated with the face-to-face exchange of handwritten manuscripts. It talks about the hundreds of books that are designated as closets or cabinets that had been published in Britain by the end of the eighteenth century. As the authors and editors of these printed closets and cabinets nervously underscored their own close connections to courtly closets, prayer closets, and elite cabinets of curiosity, they implicitly positioned their readers as illegitimate intruders or spies. The chapter also reviews the complex dynamics of partial inclusion that are directly addressed in a particularly self-reflexive instance. It emphasizes that the one-way mode of visual intimacy channeled the excitement and social disorientation that accompanied the increasing accessibility of knowledge in the eighteenth century.

Keywords:   Anthony Hamilton, Jonathan Swift, sociability, face-to-face exchange, prayer closet, partial inclusion, visual intimacy, printed closets

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