Gossip; Gift and Commodity in Francis Coventry’s History of Pompey the Little; or; The Life and Adventures of a Lap-Dog (1751)

Authors

  • Ana Vogrinčič University of Southampton / ISH

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4312/elope.4.1-2.107-120

Keywords:

eighteenth-century English fiction, novels with non-human characters, commercialism, sociability, gossip.

Abstract

Francis Coventry’s History of Pompey the Little represents one of the better known examples of today otherwise neglected eighteenth-century English novels of non human-characters. By pointing at thus far unacknowledged dimensions of the text; the article challenges the established reading of the book as put forward by Liz Bellamy in the theory of the ‘novels of circulation’. According to Bellamy; the peregrinating animals and objects of these narratives represent circulating commodities and thus symbolize alienated commercial society. Demonstrating that Pompey the lapdog rather functions as a gift and a gossip; this essay offers an alternative interpretation which opens up a different perspective on Coventry’s representation of society. Following from this; the paper aims at situating Pompey the Little’ within broader socio-cultural context of eighteenth-century England; as well as reflects on its place in fiction of the period. As such it advocates socio-historical approaches to literature.

 

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Downloads

Published

16.06.2007

How to Cite

Vogrinčič, A. (2007). Gossip; Gift and Commodity in Francis Coventry’s History of Pompey the Little; or; The Life and Adventures of a Lap-Dog (1751). ELOPE: English Language Overseas Perspectives and Enquiries, 4(1-2), 107–120. https://doi.org/10.4312/elope.4.1-2.107-120