The eighteenth century and literature

18th century english literature poets

Of these two associates Richard Steele had the more original mind, and his writings reveal a warm, human sympathy that is lacking in the work of his more famous contemporary. A Tale of a Tub, by contrast, was a biting satire that mocked recent corruptions in religious practices in the figures of three brothers who represent Catholics, Protestants, and Anglicans. Instead he argued that the mind was at birth a tabula rasa , a blank slate upon which good and bad experiences left their residue. This was the first English translation directly from the Arabic original. Living intensely in a small field, he must discover that there are just two poetic subjects of abiding interest. His ethical teaching appears in his Moral Epistles, his desire for a good reputation is written large in his Letters, which he secretly printed, and then alleged that they had been made public against his wish. Although Locke had been born into a Puritan family, his works displayed little of the distrust for human nature that had long been characteristic of the Calvinist tradition.

Similar formalistic sensibilities are to be found in the life of Jonathan Swifta satirist and poet who was for a time a close associate of Pope and Defoe. Then suspicion fell upon him, his popularity was destroyed and he fled from London. We have called She Stoops to Conquer a comedy of eighteenth-century manners, but our continued interest in its absurdities would seem to indicate that it is a comedy of human nature in all ages.

The mind that could grasp such vast and chaotic materials, arrange them in orderly sequence and resent them as in a gorgeous panorama, moves us to wonder.

18th century english literature summary

It is hardly necessary to examine other works of Pope, since the poems already named give us the full measure of his strength and weakness. Landing one day on the Continent with a flute, a spare shirt and a guinea as his sole outward possessions, the guinea went for a feast and a game of cards at the nearest inn, and the shirt to the first beggar that asked for it.

18th century literature books

William Hill Brown wrote the first American novel, The Power of Sympathy , which showed authors how to overcome ancient prejudices against this form by following the sentimental novel form invented by Samuel Richardson. He believed that the Church of England should continue to enjoy a privileged position among all the religious institutions of the country, and that laws against dissenters and Catholics should be upheld. Samuel Johnson who advised young writers to study Addison as a model. This drama was full of echoes of Goldsmith and Sheridan, but it contained a Yankee character the predecessor of many such in years to follow who brought something native to the stage. This invention, generally credited to the English, differs radically from the old romance, which was known to all civilized peoples. Also it brought a pension, with a suggestion that Addison should travel abroad and learn French and diplomacy, which he did, to his great content, for the space of three years. The materialism was at its worst in the second quarter ot the century; but it continued dominant even while a sturdier morality, deeply rooted, more akin in its nature to Puritanism, was making progress; while Samuel Johnson by force of character more than of intellect was gradually achieving a supremacy among English men of letters; while the Great Commoner in the political world, Wesley in the religious world, were breathing life into the dry bones. Hamilton, who wrote perhaps 51 of the Federalist papers, became a leader of the Federalist Party and, as first secretary of the treasury —95 , wrote messages that were influential in increasing the power of national government at the expense of the state governments. Load Next Page. Here are heroes of more than human endurance, ladies of surpassing loveliness, giants, dragons, enchanters, marvelous adventures in the land of imagination. The mind that could grasp such vast and chaotic materials, arrange them in orderly sequence and resent them as in a gorgeous panorama, moves us to wonder. London's first newspaper had appeared in the s in tandem with the Restoration of the Stuart monarchy, but that paper, the Gazette, had functioned largely as a government organ of information.

Its function was to acknowledge a problem in society and attempt to reform the problem in a comical manner while still educating the public. For several years Swift was the literary champion of the victorious Tories; then, when his keen eye detected signs of tottering in the party, he asked for his reward.

Dryden was his first master, from whom he inherited the couplet, then he imitated the French critic Boileau and the Roman poet Horace.

18th century literature list

In the Licensing Act lapsed, and there was generally little will in Parliament to renew its provisions because, by this time, the Stationer's Guild that controlled the licensing process was widely seen as corrupt. This was a collection of old ballads, which profoundly influenced Walter Scott, and which established a foundation for all later works of balladry. He will write, therefore, of the common emotions that lie between the extremes of laughter and tears, and his appeal will be to the heart rather than to the head of his reader. Meanwhile Swift, who could not follow the Addisonian way of kindness and courtesy, was eating bitter bread and railing at humanity. Johnson's own circle after included Burke and Goldsmith, and touched Sheridan. In a familiar, urbane style they tackled a great range of topics, from politics to fashion, from aesthetics to the development of commerce. Such white and black picturings were highly effective propaganda.

Where London had a handful of newspapers inthis number continued to grow in the first half of the century, and many new journals came to be centered in the city's Fleet Streetlong the heart of English newspaper publication. The Citizen of the World, a series of letters from an alleged Chinese visitor, invites comparison with the essays of Addison or Steele.

Characteristics of 18th century novel

The man who did more than any other to set this new oratorical fashion in motion was the same Dr. Led by the success of Pamela. The Citizen of the World, a series of letters from an alleged Chinese visitor, invites comparison with the essays of Addison or Steele. The form of his verse suggests the formal school, and his polished couplets rival those of Pope; but there the resemblance ceases. They are never profound, but they are always pleasant, and their graceful style made such a lasting impression that, half a century later, Dr. Because of their cultivated prose style, Steele and Addison were long regarded as models, and we are still influenced by them in the direction of clearness and grace of expression. Characteristics of this period included observing human nature and nature itself which were considered unchanging and constant. He portrayed a man just as that man was, recorded the word just as the word was spoken; and facing the man we may see his enraptured audience,--at a distance, indeed, but marvelously clear, as when we look through the larger end of a field glass at a landscape dominated by a mountain. So the new politician replaced the old nobleman as a patron of letters. And what a heart must I have to contemplate without emotion that elevation and that fall! Here again Burke presents the liberal, the humane view of what was then largely a political question; but in his Reflections on the French Revolution he goes over to the Tories, thunders against the revolutionists or their English sympathizers, and exalts the undying glories of the British constitution. Little did I dream, when she added titles of veneration to those of distant, enthusiastic, respectful love, that she should ever be obliged to carry the sharp antidote against disgrace concealed in that bosom; little did I dream that I should have lived to see such disasters fallen upon her in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honour and of cavaliers.
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Discovering Literature: Restoration and 18th century