”handelens regulære vej”: Aktieselskabet mellem handel og spekulation i Trollopes The Way We Live Now, 1875


  • Jakob Gaardbo Nielsen Aarhus Universitet




handel, finansiel spekulation, finansiel kriminalitet, aktieselskaber


This article applies a historical formalist method to analyze a literary response to the late nineteenth-century financial sector in England: Anthony Trollope’s The Way We Live Now, 1875. The central issue in the novel is the legal and conceptual boundary between traditional commerce and financial speculation, and the variety of ways in which established social forms and hierarchies are challenged by a rapid introduction of new forms of financial activity such as joint-stock corporations and limited liability. Trollope’s novel is concerned with the contradictions inherent in the concept of trade and commerce in this transformed financial context, and devotes critical attention to the ways in which these new forms collide in the individual lives and ambitions of its characters. Drawing on a recent theory of form by Caroline Levine, the article demonstrates how this literary representation of the accelerating financial sector should not simply be seen as reflections of an economic context in turmoil. Rather, the article argues that Trollope applies the affordances of economic and financial forms in what is essentially an interpretative gesture, directed at the only partially visible and constantly changing reality of financial capitalism and modern corporate law.


Jakob Gaardbo Nielsen, Aarhus Universitet

Jakob Gaardbo Nielsen er ph.d.-studerende ved afdelingen for litteraturhistorie og retorik på Aarhus Universitet. Hans ph.d.-projekt har titlen: Beskidte penge og falske mennesker: Finans og litteratur i England og Frankrig, 1797-1895. Den trykte artikel er en del af det fortløbende arbejde med dette projekt.


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Nielsen, J. G. (2017). ”handelens regulære vej”: Aktieselskabet mellem handel og spekulation i Trollopes The Way We Live Now, 1875. K&Amp;K - Kultur Og Klasse, 45(124), 153–170. https://doi.org/10.7146/kok.v45i124.103916