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Transcript of British Literature
17th and 18th Centuries and Neoclassical
End of the Reformation Period: (1600s-1620s)
Reasons of Influence: Religious: translating bible into various different forms to let the common man understand
Rep. Works: King James Bible
Characteristics: Religious translations into many different dialects: English, Irish, Gaelic
Famous Writers: William Tyndale
Caroline Period (1620s-1660s)
Reasons of Influence: Differences of Political views: Parliament vs. Crown, and Oliver Cromwell
Rep. Works: Paradise Lost, "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time", The Temple
Characteristics: Metaphysical, Cavalier, and Puritanical
Famous Writers: John Milton, John Donne, George Herbert, Richard Lovelace, Sir John Suckling, Thomas Carew, and Robert Herrick.
Restoration Period (1660-1700)
Reasons of Influence: Restoration of Monarchy
Rep. Works: Absalom and Achitophel, and MacFlecknoe
Characteristics: satires( more casual than rhetorical), and heroic ideals
Famous Writers: John Dryden
Augustan Era (1700-1750s)
Reasons of Influence: Aligned themselves with the Augustan writes: Horace, Virgil, etc.
Rep. Works: The Rape of the Lock, Gulliver’s Travels, The Tattler, and the Spectator
Characteristics: satires, blends of fact and fiction, sympathetic comedies
Famous Writers: Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, Joseph Addison, and Sir Richard Steele
The Age of Sensibility (1750s-1800s)
Reasons of Influence: New feelings toward immigration and cultural attitude changes
Rep. Works: The Vanity of Human Wishes, The History of Sir Charles Grandison, Tom Jones, A Political Romance
Characteristics: Novels, Essays, the rise of themes and modes (beginning of romanticism)
Famous Writers: Samuel Johnson, Henry Fielding, Samuel Richardson, Laurence Sterne
1608: Hans Lippershey invented the refracting telescope
1643: Evangelista Torricelli invented the barometer
1670: Denis Papin invented the pressure cooker
1674: Anton Van Leeuwenhoek first viewed and described bacteria under a microscope
1724: Gabriel Fahrenheit invented the mercury thermometer
1752: Ben Franklin invented the lightning rod
1794: Edward Jenner created a smallpox vaccination
1799: Alessandro Volta invented the battery
Art and Music
Culture and Customs
Period more popularly known as the Baroque Period (~1600-1750)
"Baroque" came from the Portuguese term "barroco" which means oddly shaped pearl and was termed by Joachim Winckelman
This was used to describe the gaudy and over extravagance of the art
Baroque art and music was originally promoted by the Catholic Church since they wanted them to be understood by the illiterate as well
Neoclassical art saw a revival of classical styles but tended to be about philosophy and other enlightment ideas
Some elements were derived from both the baroque and classical eras, so this movement is sometimes also known as the Neo Baroque period
Neoclassical art tended to focus more on sculpting and architecture, but also included other works
New types of music evolved such as the canon, opera, cantata, concerto, and sonata
Music pieces tend to hold the same rhythm, melody, and emotion throughout the entire piece
Often, there are multiple melodies at once
Henry Purcell - wrote many operas for the royal crown as well as music for many public events
His dad was a member of the Royal Band, which let Purcell join the Chapel Royal as a boy
Once his voice broke, he was forced to leave, which is when he became an established composer and organist
Later, he was readmitted into the Chapel Royal
Pieces of work:
Operas: Dido and Aenas
Semi-operas: King Arthur, The Fairy Queen
Fun fact: sometimes criticized for being unoriginal
George Frideric Handel- originally born in Germany, later moved to England to play for the king
First moved to Italy and worked as a personal musician for Prince Marquis of Rome
On his Grand European Tour, he met Prince Ernst of Hanover, who was the brother of future King George I. Prince Ernst sent Handel to scout London, and he was so impressed he decided to stay.
Pieces of work:
Music for Royal Fireworks
Fun fact: his dad wanted him to be a lawyer, but he thankfully decided to be a magician
Much of England's architecture were based on Italian works
Art tended to include large contrasts between light and dark, loose brushstrokes, figures tend to move up, and had overlapping figures
Much of the subjects of art was about religion and included grandiose visions, martyrdom, and other religious figures
List of English artists:
Sir Nathaniel Bacon
David Des Granges
Sir Godfrey Kneller
Sir James Thornhill
Sir Christopher Wren
John Michael Wright
Sir Nathaniel Bacon-
established painter and gardener, but only 9 paintings exist
really liked to to draw about vegetables and fruit
credited to paint the first British landscape and many portraits
one of the highest acclaimed architects in history
designed the Sheldonian Theater in Oxford
knighted in 1673 and tried to develop a plan to rebuild after the Great Fire, but he was only allowed to design 51 churches
Liked to work with the same team on all his subjects: John Grooves and Grinling Gibbons
The 17th and 18th centuries (1600-1799) marked the end of the Renaissance, and became known as the "Age of Shakespeare"
The Neoclassical Period marked a revival in literature in the late 17th century.
During this time period, Early Modern English created the base for today's conventions of grammar and writing, and transitioned into Modern English in the 18th century.
Push for literature and learning from the Enlightenment and Shakespeare
1630s- As dissatisfaction with Charles I’s policies grew, more than 300,000 people migrated to the New World
1642- 1649- English Civil War begins
1642- Many theaters were closed and weren’t officially reopened until 1660 as the English Puritans worked to drive out sinful theater
1665- Outbreak of the Great Plague caused thousands of deaths most heavily in London
1666- Great Fire of London destroyed large parts of the city and made extensive reconstruction necessary
1692-1693- Salem Witch Trials hysteria broke out in Massachusetts
1756- 1763 Seven Years War
1775- 1783 American Revolution begins between the American colonies and Britain. The French join war with the Americans in 1778 and hostilities continued until the surrender of Britain at Yorktown.
Country/ Political Leaders
Reign of the Stuarts
James I established royal absolutism and adopted the Anglican state church model, which upset the Catholics
Charles I, son of James I, took over the throne in 1625
Charles I also tended towards absolutism and repeatedly dissolved Parliament in order to do what he wanted; his religious policies led to revolts in Scotland and after crippling financial crisis, he was forced to summon the so called Long Parliament
The Parliament majority allied itself with the Scots; a civil war broke out in 1642 and after several defeats the parliamentary majority, led by Oliver Cromwell, shut down the king and the royalist minority
Oliver Cromwell, leader of the English Puritans, abolished the monarchy in 1649 and proclaimed England a Protestant “free state”
Although he aspired to be a republic, Cromwell often dissolved parliament and made himself “lord protector” with dictatorial powers
After his death in 1658, his son Richard could not hold onto power, clearing the way for the restoration of the Stuarts
Restoration of the Stuarts
Charles II’s Catholic brother James II ascended to the throne in 1685, which aroused some protest
James II proclaimed religious freedom for Catholic and those diverging from the state church; after the birth of his Catholic son, England became afraid of a permanent Catholic and absolutist monarchy
“Glorious Revolution”- in this bloodless shift of power, Parliament offered the crown to the Protestant regent of the Netherlands, William of Orange. William III landed in England and expelled James to France in 1688
The Reign of the House of Hanover
William III died in 1702 and his sister in law Anne, the last of the Protestant Stuarts, followed him on the throne
In 1701, Parliament passed the Act of Settlement which excluded Catholics and anyone married to a Catholic from the succession to the throne as well as establishing that parliament determines who succeeds the throne
The Hanoverian Kings and the Growing Power of the Prime Minister
Robert Walpole was the first modern British prime minister under George I and George II. He determined Great Britain’s policies between 1721-1742.
George III became king in 1760; to become independent of the Whigs, he joined the Tories and his policies led to the war of independence of the American colonies. It now became clear that the focus of political decision making rested in Parliament
Great Britain & Ireland: 6 Million in 1700
Largest city was London with 530,000 people
Next largest was Norwich with 30,000 people
The capitol, London, exerted a huge influence on all aspects of culture
London was booming (Industrial Revolution late 18th Century)
The Church of England (Anglican) held a monopoly on Christian worship in England
King was the head of the Church
The masses were always distrustful of Catholic tendencies in the church and state
Yet, after the English civil war, Cromwell declared England a Protestant state with religious freedom to some extent
The Age of Enlightenment grew to challenge Christianity as a whole, generally elevated human reason above divine revelation, and down-graded religious authorities
The costume of the 17th century were simpler in design and material than the Era of Queen Elizabeth
Puritan simplicity influenced this trend
Crimson and blue velvets embroidered with gold were still worn by the rich and noble
Ruff was around the necks of both men and women
Jewelry was used to excess
Wigs are now worn not by just the rich, but by all social classes.
Narrow waist prominent in 18th century fashion
Although Paris was center of fashion, London was a shopper’s paradise
Learning until this era had been neglected
Now there was a great push for literature (Spenser and Shakespeare)
Yet, not one in ten of the gentry could write his or her name.
Shakespeare’s father could only pen his name, yet Shakespeare added 150 words to the English language.
Common people enjoyed ball-playing, bowling, archery and rude theatrical exhibitions
“ Anything that looks like fight is delicious to an Englishman,” says one expert about Londoners in 1700
Exotic animals such as alligators or crocodiles
Cruel and ferocious sport in London reflected own lives of Londoners
Death and Disease
The Great Plague (1665–66) was the last major epidemic of the bubonic plague to occur in the Kingdom of England
In 1700, 1/3 of the population died before 50
Population in London was sustained only because of constant flow of immigrants.
Poor and working class resorted to apothecaries because physicians were expensive
Emergence of Tea Culture and Teahouses
Travelers introduced coffee as a beverage to England during the mid-17th century
Previously it had been mainly for its supposed medicinal properties.
English coffeehouses, in the 17th and 18th centuries, were public social places where people would meet for conversation and commerce while drinking coffee.
The absence of alcohol created an atmosphere in which it was possible to engage in more serious conversation than in an alehouses.
Topics discussed included politics and political scandals, daily gossip, fashion, current events, and debates surrounding philosophy and the natural sciences.
Historians often associate English coffeehouses, during the 17th and 18th centuries, with the intellectual and cultural history of the Age of Enlightenment
Social rules dictate equality in a coffeehouse regardless of social class
Women argued against coffeehouse and coffee consumption because it made men sterile and distracted men from domestic duties
"The Women's Petition Against Coffee"
Age of Enlightenment
Reform society using reason
Challenge ideas grounded in tradition and faith
Advance knowledge through the scientific method
Catholic Church a favorite target.
Philosopher John Locke was England’s jewel, one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers in the Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment flourished until 1800 when the emphasis on reason gave way to Romanticism's emphasis on emotion
The Scientific Revolution came to an end around the late 17th century
Prominent scientists that emerged from this time period include:
Galileo- Kinematics, Heliocentric Model of the Universe
Descartes- Matter classifications, concept of the Conservation of Motion
Newton- established universal Laws of Motion
worked in pottery early in his life, later moved to Rome and worked as a book illustrator
when he was 12, he got the first Society of Arts medallion
later, in order to earn money, he sculpted grave monuments and was hired by Josiah Wedgwood
moved to Rome where he would gain most of his fame
illustrated works such as The Oddyssey
Kelly Pagano, Jerry Fang, Rohan Doshi, Alekhya Korrapati, and Sarika Sachdeva