American Fancy

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"American Fancy: Exuberance in the Arts, 1790-1840" by Sumpter Priddy. ISBN 0-9724353-9-5. Copyright 2004. Hardcover with 267 pages including notes, selected bibliography, and index.

Between 1790 and 1840, millions of middle-class Americans throughout the nation encountered "Fancy"; they rode in a Fancy sleigh, dressed up in Fancy clothes, blew their noses in Fancy handkerchiefs, bought goods at Fancy shops, ate at Fancy tables on Fancy dishes, and slept under Fancy coverlets. Fancy was an early 19th-century cultural phenomenon born out of new and enlightened ways of seeing, understanding, and responding to the surrounding world and was expressed in things that pleased the senses, engaged the emotions, and expanded the imagination, expressing the core of human fancy.

"American Fancy" offers an appropriately fantastic experience of this uniquely American sensibility with rich illustrations and wondrously researched essays printed on heavy-weight paper and bound in a cover that imitates a typical Fancy pattern.