A Dictionary of Eighteenth-century History (Penguin Classic History)

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9780141390499: A Dictionary of Eighteenth-century History (Penguin Classic History)

The 18th century was a dramatic time of spectacular contrasts: the age of englightenment, exploration and improvement on the one hand, and of revolution, rioting, cruelty and vice on the other. It saw the wealthy empires of Europe expand to the Pacific; the great philosophers of the age - Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Hume -redefine thinking; the beginning of industrialization; the advent of the novel. Yet beneath the age of reason lay a darker history of serfdom and slavery, poverty and crime, typified by the gin-soaked London underworld and the Bacchanalian debauchery of the Hell-Fire Club. Revolts and uprisings simmered; the French Revolution broke out; America won independence; the rights of man were proclaimed (and Mary Wollestonecraft published "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman"). This guide covers this exciting, rumbustious world in every aspect, stretching as far as Africa, China and India, covering its personalities, politics and ideas, with information on artists, writers and musicians including Mozart, Blake, Goya, Johnson and Hogarth. A helpful chronology, charts and maps make this a useful guide to all the exoticism, adventure and promise of a remarkable age.

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