This book explores how the study of consumption can be applied to Irish society and culture, and more particularly its political scene. It focuses primarily on the politicisation of consumer goods in eighteenth-century Ireland. Using under-utilised material from a wide range of Irish newspapers it moves beyond the tangible items purchased by consumers and examines the political manifestations of the consumption of elite leisure activities, entertainment and display, and in doing so makes a vital contribution to work on the cultural life of the Protestant Ascendancy. It is argued that consumption played a key role in the formation of Irish stereotypes imposed by the British, and in the ways in which the Protestant Irish perceived their own identities. As with many other areas of Irish culture and society, consumption cannot be separated from the problems of Anglo-Irish relations, and therefore an appreciation of these political overtones is vitally important.

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