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Cover Art
Author Vincent, David, 1949-

Title I hope I don't intrude : privacy and its dilemmas in nineteenth-century Britain / David Vincent.

Published New York, NY : Oxford University Press, 2015.


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bail  822.8 VINC    AVAILABLE
Edition 1st ed.
Physical description xii, 354 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 315-347) and index.
Summary I hope I don't intrude' takes its title from the catch-phrase of the eponymous hero of the 1825 play Paul Pry, which was an immense success on the London stage and then rapidly in New York and around the English-speaking world. It tackles the complex, multi-faceted subject of privacy in nineteenth-century Britain by examining the way in which the tropes, language, and imagery of the play entered public discourse about privacy in the rest of the century. The volume is not just an account of a play, or of late Georgian and Victorian theatre. Rather it is a history of privacy, showing how the play resonated through Victorian society and revealed its concerns over personal and state secrecy, celebrity, gossip and scandal, postal espionage, virtual privacy, the idea of intimacy, and the evolution of public and private spheres. After 1825 the overly inquisitive figure of Paul Pry appeared everywhere - in songs, stories, and newspapers, and on everything from buttons and Staffordshire pottery to pubs, ships, and stagecoaches - and 'Paul-Prying' rapidly entered the language. 'I Hope I Don't Intrude' is an innovative kind of social history, using rich archival research to trace this cultural artefact through every aspect of its consumer context, and using its meanings to interrogate the largely hidden history of privacy in a period of major transformations in the role of the home, mass communication (particularly the new letter post, which delivered private messages through a public service), and the state.
Subject Poole, John, 1786?-1872 -- Criticism and interpretation.
Pry, Paul (Fictitious character)
English drama -- 19th century -- History and criticism.
Farce -- History and criticism.
Privacy -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century.
Privacy in literature.
Interpersonal communication -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century.
ISBN 9780198725039