Coffeehouse Sociability: Samuel Pepys and the Creation of Networks in Late Seventeenth Century England
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The aim of this work is to address how coffeehouse culture in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England facilitated the creation of networks. The emergence of the coffeehouse in London created a new social atmosphere for men to interact with one another. Unlike the taverns Englishmen frequented, coffeehouses provided a new, sobering environment to discuss politics, science, news, and business. This new public sphere attracted men from different social standings in society to meet and discuss numerous topics over a dish of coffee. Men like Samuel Pepys saw the importance of these coffeehouses to propel his social standing. Pepys’s diary provides a rare account of one man’s visits to numerous coffeehouses around London. Between 1660-1665, Pepys experienced coffeehouses that dealt with politics, commercial interests, and news, which fostered different connections and networks to enhance his position. By first understanding the social aspects of the coffeehouses, I can examine three different areas of coffeehouse association – politics, news, and finance – and how their specific commercial agenda brought together like-minded men that facilitated the establishment of networks. By following Pepys’s diary through the high coffeehouse years of 1660-1665, and interspersed with literary, economic, and printed discursive texts, we can see how the coffeehouse created ways for Pepys to become politically, economically, and socially aware of a public sphere continuously expanding across London.
Table of Contents
Coffeehouse Sociability -- Seventeenth-Century Politics and Coffeehouse Culture -- Commercial Competition and the Coffeehouse -- Coffeehouses and the Origins of the Origins of the Popular Press -- Conclusion
M.A. (Master of Arts)