Curiosities

Product Placement in 19th Century British Novels

By posted at 12:09 pm on September 8, 2010 2

A recent survey of 19th century British literature uncovered advertising subtly placed within classic texts by authors like Dickens, Austen, and Thackeray. From Vanity Fair, for example: “‘My sisters say she has diamonds as big as pigeons’ eggs,’ George said, laughing. ‘How they must set off her complexion! Surely she avails herself of Madame A.T. Rowley’s Toilet Mask (or Face Gloves)…’” (via Book Bench)

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2 Responses to “Product Placement in 19th Century British Novels”

  1. Stephen
    at 7:16 pm on September 8, 2010

    As far as I can tell, this article is a hoax. There was no add agency with that name in the 16th century (not until the late 20th century), and most of the cited examples don’t exist, they are made-up.

  2. cathal quinn
    at 8:26 pm on December 27, 2011

    A very amusing hoax! I was jolted by the extracts from Great Expectations and Vanity Fair, two books I had studied at school, never had I heard Miss Havisham speak so salaciously!
    Checking my copies of Mansfield Park and Vanity Fair, and even when unable to locate my Dracula or Dickens I confirmed my suspicions.
    However, do look at Wilde’s short story The Canterville Ghost, with at least three
    products mentioned unabashedly in the text, by the American family who are completely unperturbed by the presence of the spirit who had been haunting Canterville Chase for centuries! I very much doubt any of the products mentioned (Pinkerton’s Champion Stain Remover and Paragon Detergent, Tammany Rising Sun Lubricator and Doctor Dobell’s tincture) are real but would have to verify that statement.

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