Mythologizing late victorian tea advertising: the case of the illustrated London news (1890–1900)

Chatterjee, Arup K. (2024) Mythologizing late victorian tea advertising: the case of the illustrated London news (1890–1900). History of Retailing and Consumption. pp. 1-40. ISSN 2373-518X

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Late-Victorian popular culture discourses around tea advertisements by companies like Lipton's Mazawattee, and United Kingdom Tea Company constitute an essential archive of Victorianism's ideological moorings. Following a revolution in Victorian tea retail, in the 1890s, tea advertisements became complex aesthetic performances of mythologizing and reconditioning the semiotics of Englishness rather than simply marketing tea for consumption. The visual impact of this mythologization was most conspicuous in The Illustrated London News. This paper examines how an elusive force, recognizable as gastromythology, cultured a set of royal, chivalric, aristocratic, domestic, gendered, and racial values familiar to English consumer psychology, in tea advertisements, published in The Illustrated London News between 1890 and 1900, that, albeit not authored by its staff, resonated with the tone and ideology of the self-commoditized weekly's journalistic commodities. This placed imperial advertisers at the helm of selecting preexisting subliminal tendencies and mythologems to replough them for visual consumption and paradigmatization by a mass-audience, in ways anticipating modern-day digital algorithms. The sociocultural impact of these advertisements is entangled with the semiotics of postcolonial Coca-Colonizations of consumer psychology, following a scheme of proselytization and parasitism with respect to national ideologies, while also introducing pharmakons and power-capillaries to that scheme

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Tea | Gastromythology | Illustrated London News | Victorian | Advertisement | Mazawatte | Lipton’s | UKTC
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Arts and Humanities > History and Philosophy of Science
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Social Sciences (General)
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Subhajit Bhattacharjee
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2024 11:41
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2024 11:41
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