Frances Ferguson, Economic and Sentimental Reasons: Financial Instruments and Personal Attachments in Fielding's Jonathan Wild

Saturday, October 13, 2012

1 - 3:30 pm

Towner Fellows Lounge

Frances Ferguson, University of Chicago
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Eighteenth-Century Seminar

Fielding’s early novel Jonathan Wild centers on a character, the notorious thief and thief-taker Jonathan Wild, who invented techniques for preserving the value of personal possessions. Troubled by the way that objects precipitously declined in value when they were stolen and fenced, Wild developed a way of protecting their value–namely, by selling them back to their owners, giving the owners the opportunity to redeem them. Parliament, seeing such redemptions as a matter of enlisting victims in crimes against themselves, passed a law forbidding them. Fielding’s novel, however, suggests a deeper critique of Wild’s characteristic ways of proceeding and focuses on a tension between commitments to things and commitments to persons.

A reception will follow the seminar.

Learn more about our speaker: Frances Ferguson, University of Chicago

Download a printable PDF flyer.

Sponsored by the University of Chicago, DePaul University, Northwestern University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, and directed by Timothy Campbell, University of Chicago; Lisa A. Freeman, University of Illinois at Chicago; John Shanahan, DePaul University; and Helen Thompson, Northwestern University.

Faculty and graduate students of Center for Renaissance Studies consortium institutions may be eligible to apply for travel funds to attend CRS programs or to do research at the Newberry. Each member university sets its own policies and deadlines; contact your Representative Council member in advance for details.

Cost and Registration Information 

This program is free and open to the public, but registration in advance is required. Register online here.