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Pleasure, wrote Oscar Wilde, is the only thing worth having a theory about. In Pleasure in the Eighteenth Century, Roy Porter and Marie Mulvey Roberts question the idea of pleasure as unmediated, natural experience. To what extent was pleasure stage-managed to make it socially, morally, and politically acceptable?
Taking its cue from Michel Foucault, this volume represents a stunning example of the pleasures of analysis, a place where discourse about pleasure is a pleasure in its own right. From cross-dressing to feasting, music to charity work, the essays in this volume probe the foundations of eighteenth-century society while entertaining the reader vicariously with their tales of vanished delights.