Robert Dodsley: The Oeconomy of Human Life

(1261 words)

Robert Dodsley’s work of prose fiction, The Oeconomy of Human Life, was first published in London in November 1750. Partly perhaps to cash in on the emerging fashion for all things vaguely oriental and partly to create a teasing sense of mystery, he set out to give his work an air of eastern exoticism. Its full title was The Oeconomy of Human Life, translated from an Indian manuscript written by an ancient Bramin, to which is prefixed an account of the manner in which the said manuscript was discovered, in a letter from an English Gentleman, now residing in China, to the Earl of ****. In order to throw suspicion of the work’s provenance away from himself, Dodsley arranged for his friend Mary Cooper to publish …

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Gordon, Ian. "The Oeconomy of Human Life". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 December 2005
[, accessed 05 July 2015.]