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The 18 th Century 1660 to 1784 or 1785 or 1789. Key terms façade complacency wit reason decorum, politeness, self-control self-examination self-publicizing.

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Presentation on theme: "The 18 th Century 1660 to 1784 or 1785 or 1789. Key terms façade complacency wit reason decorum, politeness, self-control self-examination self-publicizing."— Presentation transcript:

1 The 18 th Century 1660 to 1784 or 1785 or 1789

2 Key terms façade complacency wit reason decorum, politeness, self-control self-examination self-publicizing taste

3 Various names for the period The Restoration (1660-1685 only) The Enlightenment The Age of Reason The Neoclassical Period The “18 th ” century

4 Three Rough Divisions 1660-1700 (death of Dryden) 1700-1745 (death of Swift) 1745-1784 (death of Johnson) –Or 1785 (death of Cowper) –Or 1789 (French Revolution)

5 Major Literary Genres Ode Satire Diary Prose essay Periodical Novel

6 Major Events The last “plague year”: 1665 –Killed possibly 69,000-70,000 –Mass burials –Spread by plague rats The Great Fire of London: 1666 –Virtually obliterated medieval and Elizabethan London –Some 430 acres, as much as 80% of the city proper, was destroyed, including 13,000 houses, 89 churches, and 52 Guild Halls. –Only 16 people confirmed killed –Rebuilding featured wider streets, brick and stone buildings, rather than timber construction

7 The fire damage

8 Politics Restoration of a monarchy— but a limited one Increase in power of Parliament, especially the Commons Increasing importance of Cabinet ministers

9 Political Sides TORIES Old money Old titles Country Church of England Income from land “But we’ve always done it this way” WHIGS New money New, often purchased, titles City C of E but many dissenters Income from investments and (Gasp!) trade “Boldly go where no man has gone before!”

10 Important Concepts Restoration Fear of Catholics Conspicuous consumption War with the Dutch “Rule Britannia”

11 Age of Reason Emphasis on empiricism Science used to explain workings of God’s creation Microscope and telescope Emphasis on proof, controlled and repeatable experiments, careful observation and note-taking, plain style of writing up results Objectivity

12 The Darker Side: Colonialism Extension of Empire Conviction that Britain was always right “Enlightening” those living in darkness Religious as well as political and economic motives

13 The Even Darker Side: Slavery Not Abolished till 1807

14 The better side: The rise of abolitionist movements Africans helped each other to escape and were aided by the ordinary people of London. In 1772 the famous judgment of Lord Chief Justice Mansfield By the 1780s Africans in London including the famous writers Olaudah Equiano and Ottabah Cugoano, had formed their own political organisation, the Sons of Africa, which lobbied in London’s daily papers The Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, led by Thomas Clarkson, was established in the city in 1787

15 Age of Self-Reckoning Turning the empirical eye on one’s self—what have I made of myself? Letters, diaries, journals, both private and published See p. 1056 Knowing where you stood morally, socially, economically at all times and in relation to those around you Leads to sweeping generalizations (and logical fallacies)

16 Age of Self-Improvement Fashioning one’s self into a better person Age of self-help books—knowing the “right” way to do things Rise of schools, dictionaries, grammars, calculus, chemistry, etc. Emphasis on etiquette

17 Age of Facades The SHOW—How you acted and looked was essential—false hair, face paint, padded calves, corsets for men and women FACADES—age where everybody is counterfeiting ARTIFICE—to make using art— improving on disordered nature (“artificial” is a Good Thing)

18 The Classic Example

19 Age of Publishing Journalism—rise of periodicals and newspapers and places to read them More leisure for reading (esp. among women) leads to longer works—novels Correcting “older” literature—Shakespeare, Chaucer Beginning of literary criticism—telling you what to think about what you read—approved opinions Copyright

20 Economics Age of booms and busts—”Bubbles” Beginnings of empire and colonialism (“Rule Britannia”) Age of exploration and discovery (Capt. Cook, longitude) but also age of pirates, trade wars, and slavery Age of rebuilding— country houses, landscape architects, fire of London

21 Society Emphasis on comforts Rise of middle class Conspicuous consumption, “taste” Return of public entertainments (theatres, operas, symphonies, museums, art galleries) Late in period, some limited emphasis on individual rights

22 Manners Decorum Etiquette Balance (concordia discors) Control of emotions, distaste for outbursts Emphasis on reason Snobbery (high- brow vs low- brow)

23 John Garretson, from The School of Manners. Or Rules for Childrens Behaviour: At Church, at Home, at Table, in Company, in Discourse, at School, abroad, and among Boys. With some other short and mixt Precepts (1701) Put not thy hand in the presence of others to any part of thy body, not ordinarily discovered. Sing not nor hum in thy mouth while thou art in company. Play not wantonly like a Mimick with thy Fingers or Feet. Stand not wriggling with thy body hither and thither, but steady and upright. In coughing or sneezing make as little noise as possible. If thou cannot avoid yawning, shut thy Mouth with thine Hand or Handkerchief before it, turning thy Face aside. When thou blowest thy Nose, let thy Handkerchief be used, and make not a noise in so doing. Gnaw not thy Nails, pick them not, nor bite them with thy teeth.

24 Other arts The Baroque (wedding cake): Bach, Handel, Christopher Wren, Buckingham Palace Neo-classical influence (Greek influence, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian) Wigs, hoop skirts, swords, jewelry, embroidery: think Pirates and George Washington “Accomplishments” (dancing masters, paintings, “The Grand Tour” Paintings of country houses, horses, family portraits, “improvements”


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