Kings and Desperate Men: Life in Eighteenth-century England, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Kings and Desperate Men

Life in Eighteenth-century England, 1st Edition

By Louis Kronenberger

Routledge

386 pages

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Description

The goal of Kings and Desperate Men is to provide a picture of eighteenth-century England up to the French Revolution. Kronenberger's work lies much closer to a social chronicle than an orthodox history, and is more concerned with manners and tastes than with treaties and wars. Kings and Desperate Men reveals what life was like for both aristocrats and commoners: their family lives, experience of larger society, habits, diet, fashions, religion, and artistic tastes. In tracing these topics for both city and country dwellers, he artfully communicates the very real division between the vivacity of London and the regular, fixed, and monotonous character of country life. The division is vital to understanding the age and the transformations it would experience.

Yet Kronenberger does not ignore the more traditional historical landmarks. Kroenberger treats the characters of the leading political actors: Walpole, Bolingbroke, Burke, Fox, and Pitt, while providing the reader with a sweeping account of the formation of political parties and constitutional shifts of power between the monarchy and parliament. Students of the period who despair at its political complexities will fi nd much to appreciate in Kronenberger's condensed and easy to understand formulations.

As for philosophy, Kronenberger refers to thinkers and ideas as they influence English life; especially Locke and Hume. Their ideas and reputations are explained as part of the character of society. The same is true for economics. More attention is given to the social gains of middle-class shopkeepers and the eighteenth-century zeal for stock speculation than to formal schools of thought. Especially notable is Kronenberger's treatment of both the arts and the artists of the eighteenth century-theatre, opera, music, literature, architecture, and painting.

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Transaction Edition, by Justin D. Lyons
Note
PART I: The Capital of England
I. The Last Stuart
II- Details of the Plot
III Two or Three Characters
IV Walpole and the House of Hanover
V. Aristocrats, with a Portrait of One of Them
VI Shopkeepers
vn. The Poor
VIII The Arts
IX The Artists
PART II: Provincial Sketches
I. Country Matters
II The Country Gentleman
III Oxford and Cambridge
IV Bath
v. The Wesleyan Movement
PART III: Heyday
I. Empire and Revolution
II Kings and Counsellors
III The Great World
IV The World Below
V. The World Within
VI The Bully and the Fop
READING LIST
INDEX follows page

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS054000
HISTORY / Social History