Essays 2 pages, words 18 th century literature The 18 th century is a period of great literary works.
Historical context[ edit ] Alexander Popewho had been imitating Horacewrote an Epistle to Augustus that was in fact addressed to George II of Great Britain and seemingly endorsed the notion of his age being like that of Augustus, when poetry became more mannered, political and satirical than in the era of Julius Caesar.
Partially because of the rise of empiricism and partially because of the self-conscious naming of the age in terms of ancient Rometwo rather imprecise labels have been affixed to the age. One is that it is the age of neoclassicism Augustan gothic period 18th century literature the other is that it is the Age of Reason.
While neoclassical criticism from France was imported to English letters, the English had abandoned their strictures in all but name by the s. Critics disagree over the applicability of the concept of "the Enlightenment" to the literary history of this period.
Donald Greene argued forcefully that the age should rather be known as "The Age of Exuberance", and T. White made a case for "The Age of Scandal".
More recently, Roy Porter put forward the notion of a distinctively "English Enlightenment" to characterise the intellectual climate of the period. The books contain pornographymedicineand classics. The print satirises "new men" wanting to collect libraries without collecting learning.
One of the most critical elements of the 18th century was the increasing availability of printed material, both for readers and authors. Books fell in price dramatically and used books were sold at Bartholomew Fair and other fairs.
Additionally, a brisk trade in chapbooks and broadsheets carried London trends and information out to the farthest reaches of the kingdom. That was furthered with the establishment of periodicals, including The Gentleman's Magazine and the London Magazine. People in York aware of the happenings of Parliament and the court, but people in London were also more aware than before of the happenings of York.
Furthermore, before copyrightpirate editions were commonplace, especially in areas without frequent contact with London. Pirate editions thereby encouraged booksellers to increase their shipments to outlying centres like Dublinwhich further increased awareness across the whole realm.
That was compounded by the end of the Press Restriction Act inwhich allowed for provincial printing presses to be established, creating a printing structure that was no longer under government control Clair — All types of literature were spread quickly in all directions. Newspapers began and even multiplied.
Furthermore, the newspapers were immediately compromised, as the political factions created their own newspapers, planted stories and bribed journalists. Leading clerics had their sermon collections printed, which were top selling books.
Since dissenting, Establishment and Independent divines were in print, the constant movement of these works helped defuse any region's religious homogeneity and fostered emergent latitudinarianism.
Periodicals were exceedingly popular, and the art of essay writing was at nearly its apex. Furthermore, the happenings of the Royal Society were published regularly, and they were digested and explained or celebrated in more popular presses. The latest books of scholarship had "keys", "indexes" and "digests" made of them that could popularise, summarise and explain them to a wide audience.
The cross-indexnow commonplace, was a novelty in the 18th century, and several persons created indexes for older books of learning to allow anyone to find what an author had to say about a given topic at a moment's notice. Books of etiquette, of correspondence and of moral instruction and hygiene multiplied.
Economics began as a serious discipline but did so in the form of numerous "projects" for solving England, Ireland and Scotland's ills.
Sermon collections, dissertations on religious controversy, and prophecies, both new and old and explained, cropped up in endless variety. In short, readers in the 18th century were overwhelmed by competing voices.
Truth and falsehood sat side by side on the shelves, and anyone could be a published author, just as anyone could quickly pretend to be a scholar by using indexes and digests Clair 45, — The positive side of the explosion in information was that the 18th century was markedly more generally educated than the centuries before.
Education was less confined to the upper classes than it had been in prior centuries so contributions to science, philosophy, economics, and literature came from all parts of the kingdom. It was the first time that literacy and a library were all that stood between a person and education.
It was an age of "enlightenment" in the sense that the insistence and drive for reasonable explanations of nature and mankind was a rage. It was an "age of reason" in that it was an age that accepted clear, rational methods as superior to tradition.
However, there was a dark side to such literacy as well, which authors of the 18th century felt at every turn, which was that nonsense and insanity were also getting more adherents than ever before.
Charlatans and mountebanks were fooling more, just as sages were educating more, and alluring and lurid apocalypses vied with sober philosophy on the shelves. As with the Worldwide Web in the 21st century, the democratisation of publishing meant that older systems for determining value and uniformity of view were both in shambles.
Thus, it was increasingly difficult to trust books in the 18th century, as books were increasingly easy to make and buy. Political and religious context[ edit ] A "sulkily stupid" Queen Anne The Restoration period ended with the exclusion crisis and the Glorious Revolutionwhere Parliament set up a new rule for succession to the British throne that would always prefer Protestantism over consanguinity.18th century in poetry; The Enlightenment.
The 18th century in Europe was The Age of Enlightenment and literature explored themes of social upheaval, reversals of personal status, political satire, geographical exploration and the comparison between the supposed natural state of man and the supposed civilized state of man.
Augustan literature (sometimes referred to misleadingly as Georgian literature) is a style of British literature produced during the reigns of Queen Anne, King George I, and George II in the first half of the 18th century and ending in the s, with the deaths of Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift, in and , respectively.
The literature of the 18th century, particularly the early 18th century, which is what "Augustan" most commonly indicates, is explicitly political in ways that few others are. or Edward Gibbon (the so-called Augustan plain style in literature became popular in the late 17th century and flourished throughout the 18th, but it was really a special form of rhetoric with antecedent models in Greek and Latin).
Augustan to Gothic period Introduction The 18th century in English literature can be divided into two periods: THE AUGUSTAN AGE (The Age of Pope) - and THE AGE OF SENSIBILITY (The Age of Johnson) - This was the period of heavy colonizations of the new world and the time when cities rise.
The 18 th century was known as the Restoration Period. The people of this period sought unity and stability in everything. The people wanted to unify and stabilize life, government, and even maybe their literature. 18 th century was filled with many different types of devices and styles of literature.