“Krista Lysack’s Come Buy, Come Buy provides an origi­nal, revisionary approach to the study of British women’s writing, and its explication of the relationships among consumer culture, identity and citizenship makes an important contribution to nineteenth-century scholarship.”

Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, author of Christina Rossetti and Illustration: A Publishing History

”Lysack’s shopping woman escapes commonplace Victorian notions of woman’s desire to buy as dangerous, as demanding regulation or self-regulation.… Lysack…advances our thinking about nineteenth-century female agency.”

Studies in English Literature

“Krista Lysack’s Come Buy, Come Buy is a deft, compact, and polished consideration of (mainly middle class) female shopping as a literary and cultural theme in the Victorian period.”

Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature

“(T)his is a well-written and diligently researched study of critical issues in nineteenth-century consumer culture. One of the book’s strengths is its extensive use of archival sources, including women’s magazines and newspapers, shoppers’ guides, and books on domestic management. These culturally significant texts usefully deepen and extend the close readings of literature, enabling richly detailed arguments to emerge.”

Victorian Studies

“This is a book that convincingly argues, in a smart, clear, and entertaining manner, how much women could gain in the markets of Victorian England.”

Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies

From the 1860s through the early twentieth century, Great Britain saw the rise of the department store and the institutionalization of a gendered sphere of consumption. Come Buy, Come Buy considers representations of the female shopper in British women’s writing and demonstrates how women’s shopping practices are materialized as forms of narrative, poetic, and cultural inscription, showing how women writers emphasize consumerism as productive of pleasure rather than the condition of seduction or loss. Krista Lysack examines works by Christina Rossetti, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, George Eliot, and Michael Field, as well as the suffragette newspaper Votes for Women, in order to challenge the dominant construction of Victorian femininity as characterized by self-renunciation and the regulation of appetite.

Come Buy, Come Buy considers not only literary works, but also a variety of archival sources (shopping guides, women’s fashion magazines, household management guides, newspapers, and advertisements) and cultural practices (department store shopping, shoplifting and kleptomania, domestic economy, and suffragette shopkeeping). With this wealth of sources, Lysack traces a genealogy of the woman shopper from dissident domestic spender to aesthetic connoisseur, from curious shop-gazer to political radical.

Krista Lysack teaches in the department of English at the University of Western Ontario. Her articles have appeared in such journals as Victorian Poetry, Nineteenth-Century Contexts, and SEL.

Order a print copy

Online prices include a 20% web discount.

Paperback · $23.96 · Add to Cart Hardcover · $39.96 · Add to Cart

Download an electronic copy

Availability and price vary according to vendor.

Amazon Kindle Store Barnes & Noble NOOK Google Play iBooks Store
Cover of 'Come Buy, Come Buy'


Paperback edition

978-0-8214-1811-6 · Retail price: $29.95 · Release date: May 2008 · 256 pages · 6 × 9 in. · Rights: World

Hardcover edition

978-0-8214-1810-9 · Retail price: $49.95 · Release date: May 2008 · 256 pages · 6 × 9 in. · Rights: World

Electronic edition

978-0-8214-4292-0 · Release date: May 2008 · Rights: World

Downloads & Links

Related Subjects

Victorian Studies · Europe · Northern Europe · United Kingdom · Social History · Monograph · Victorian Era · 19th century · Consumer Society · Women’s Studies · British History · History · European History

Related Titles

Cover of 'Making a Man'
Cover of 'Educating Women'
Cover of 'The Cut of His Coat'
Cover of 'Imperial Bibles, Domestic Bodies'