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18th Century Literature : 
An Overview
1660-1780 
• Age of Enlightenment 
• Age of Sensibility 
• Neoclassical Age 
• Augustan Age & 
• “The Long 18th Century”
18th Century 
Age of Pope (1700-50) Age of Johnson (1740-1800)
Age of Pope 
Historical Background:- 
 Rise of the political parties 
 The foreign war 
 The succession 
 The spirit o...
Alexander Pope 
Jonathan Swift 
Sir Richard Steele 
Daniel Defoe 
Joseph Addison 
Mathew Prior 
John Gay 
Edward Y...
Age of Johnson 
The Historical Background:- 
o Decline of the party feud 
o Commercial and imperial expansion 
o The Frenc...
Samuel Johnson 
William Blake 
James Thomson 
Samuel Richardson 
Henry Fielding 
Oliver Goldsmith 
Thomas Gray 
Wi...
Poetry 
Non Fiction 
Drama 
Fiction 
NOVEL!
Features of Non Fiction :- 
 Influenced by Montaigne and Francis Bacon 
 Dealt mostly with morals and manners 
 Served ...
Daniel Defoe 
• His Journal : The Review 
• ‘Enquiry into the Occasional Conformity of 
Dissenters’ (1698) 
• The True-Bor...
Dr Samuel Johnson(1704-84) 
 Reactionary 
 Essay on Boswell’s life of Johnson 
 Maker of the great Dictionary (1755) 
...
Bishop Joseph Butler(1692-1752) Adam Smith(1723-90) 
• Analogy of Religion, Natural and 
Revealed (1736) 
• Charge Deliver...
Anthony Ashley Cooper (1671-1713) 
Work: Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions and 
Time 
George Berkeley (1685-1753) ...
Periodical Essays 
Joseph Addison (1672- 
1719) 
Entertaining and Educational 
To educate and moralize people 
‘The Spe...
Edmund Burke (1729-97) 
• ‘On American Taxation’ (1774) 
• ‘Conciliation with America’ 
(1775) 
Historian 
Edward Gibbon (...
Features of Poetry:- 
 Satire. Public and literary figures were targeted 
 ‘Graveyard School ’ : obsessed with decay and...
Alexander Pope(1688-1744) 
The Heroic Couplet 
• The Rape of the Lock 
• Epistle to Dr Arthubnot 
• The Dunciard 
• Essay ...
James Thomson(1700-48) 
• Epic poem : ’The Seasons ’ 
(1726-30) 
• Spring 
• Summer 
• Autumn 
• Winter 
• ‘Castle of Indo...
Christopher Smart (1722-71) 
‘’Kit Smart, ‘Kitty Smart’, ‘Jack Smart’ 
• A Song to David (1763) 
• Jubilate Agno 
Thomas P...
John Dyer (1699-1757) 
• ‘The Fleece’ 
• ‘Grongar Hill’ (1726) 
Robert Burns(1759-96) 
O my Luve's like a red, red rose 
T...
Features of Drama :- 
Restoration comedies lost favor 
Satires- Political ones 
Sentimental Comedy, Domestic Comedy 
M...
Henry Fielding 
Social Satire :- 
oThe Careless Husband (1732) 
oThe Universal Gallant (1735) 
Political Satire :- 
o Mock...
RB Sheridan 
“ Comedy of Character” 
 The School for Scandal (1777) 
 The Critic (1779) 
 The Duenna (1775) 
 The Riva...
Richard Steele 
• The Funeral (1701) 
• The Lying Lover(1703) 
• The Tender Husband(1705) 
Colley Cibber (1671-1757) 
• Lo...
Oliver Goldsmith 
• ‘ The Good Natur’dman 
• ‘She Stoops to Conquer’ 
(Class tensions) 
John Gay 
Farce 
• ‘The Beggar's O...
Features of Fiction :- 
 Emphasis on sentiments and manners 
 Satiric exploration of human follies and 
vices 
 Rise of...
Structure experimentation by Laurence Sterne in ‘The Life and Opinions 
of Trisham Shandy’
Daniel Defoe 
Robinson Crusoe(1719) 
Memoirs of a Cavalier (1720) 
Captain Singleton (1720) 
Journal of a Plague Year ...
 Laurance Sterne (1713-68) 
‘The Life and Opinions of Trisham Shandy’ (1759-67) 
 Henry Mackenzie(1745-1831 ) 
‘Man of F...
Tobais Smolett 
‘The Adventures of Roderick Random’ (1748) 
‘ The Adventures of Ferdinand ‘’Fathom (1753) 
‘The Expeditio...
References:- 
Albert, Edward.History of English 
Literature . 
Nayar,Pramod K. A Short History of English Literature
18th Century Literature - An overview
18th Century Literature - An overview
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18th Century Literature - An overview

  1. 1. 18th Century Literature : An Overview
  2. 2. 1660-1780 • Age of Enlightenment • Age of Sensibility • Neoclassical Age • Augustan Age & • “The Long 18th Century”
  3. 3. 18th Century Age of Pope (1700-50) Age of Johnson (1740-1800)
  4. 4. Age of Pope Historical Background:-  Rise of the political parties  The foreign war  The succession  The spirit of the age Predominance of Prose  Political Writing  The Clubs and Coffee houses  Periodical writing  The New Publishing Houses  The New Morality
  5. 5. Alexander Pope Jonathan Swift Sir Richard Steele Daniel Defoe Joseph Addison Mathew Prior John Gay Edward Young
  6. 6. Age of Johnson The Historical Background:- o Decline of the party feud o Commercial and imperial expansion o The French Revolution The Transition Age  The Double Tendency  The New Romanticism  The New Learning  The New Philosophy  Growth of Historical Research  The New Realism  The Decline of Political Writing
  7. 7. Samuel Johnson William Blake James Thomson Samuel Richardson Henry Fielding Oliver Goldsmith Thomas Gray William Collins William Cowper Robert Burns Edward Gibbon Edmund Burke Adam Smith Richard Sheriden
  8. 8. Poetry Non Fiction Drama Fiction NOVEL!
  9. 9. Features of Non Fiction :-  Influenced by Montaigne and Francis Bacon  Dealt mostly with morals and manners  Served the purpose of social commentary  Everyday life as theme  Aim : To amuse while also providing information and advice
  10. 10. Daniel Defoe • His Journal : The Review • ‘Enquiry into the Occasional Conformity of Dissenters’ (1698) • The True-Born Englishman(1701) • ‘Shortest way with Dissenters’ (1702) Jonathan Swift • A Tale of a Tub and The Battle of the Books • ‘A Proposal for Correcting, Improving and Ascertaining the English Tongue’ (1712) • The Journal to Stella (1766-68) • A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People from Being a Burthen to their Parents or Country (1729)
  11. 11. Dr Samuel Johnson(1704-84)  Reactionary  Essay on Boswell’s life of Johnson  Maker of the great Dictionary (1755)  The Vanity of Human Wishes (1749)  Periodical essays for The Rambler  Rassels, Prince of Abyssinia (1759)
  12. 12. Bishop Joseph Butler(1692-1752) Adam Smith(1723-90) • Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed (1736) • Charge Delivered to the Clergy(1751) • Theory of moral sentiments (1759) • An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776)
  13. 13. Anthony Ashley Cooper (1671-1713) Work: Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions and Time George Berkeley (1685-1753) Work: Treatise concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge (1710)
  14. 14. Periodical Essays Joseph Addison (1672- 1719) Entertaining and Educational To educate and moralize people ‘The Spectator ’ ‘The Tatler ’ Social commentary , Satire Richard Steele (1672-1729) Eliza Haywood  ‘ The Female Spectator’ ( Feminine issues)  "prolific even by the standards of a prolific age" (Blouch, intro 7)  Translated Virgil’s ‘Georgics’  The Christian Hero (1701)
  15. 15. Edmund Burke (1729-97) • ‘On American Taxation’ (1774) • ‘Conciliation with America’ (1775) Historian Edward Gibbon (1737 - 94)  The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788.
  16. 16. Features of Poetry:-  Satire. Public and literary figures were targeted  ‘Graveyard School ’ : obsessed with decay and death  Highly self-conscious, crafted and metrical, but used simple language  Less satiric poets used wit and gentle irony  Deep sense of humanism in Wartons, Goldsmith and Pope  Pastoral Influence in Wartons, Goldsmith and Gray  Infulence of Classical authors and learning : ‘Neo Classism’
  17. 17. Alexander Pope(1688-1744) The Heroic Couplet • The Rape of the Lock • Epistle to Dr Arthubnot • The Dunciard • Essay on Man • Windsor Forest
  18. 18. James Thomson(1700-48) • Epic poem : ’The Seasons ’ (1726-30) • Spring • Summer • Autumn • Winter • ‘Castle of Indolence’ (1748)
  19. 19. Christopher Smart (1722-71) ‘’Kit Smart, ‘Kitty Smart’, ‘Jack Smart’ • A Song to David (1763) • Jubilate Agno Thomas Percy (1729-1811) • Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (1765) 11/23/2014  The Legend of King Arthur  Barbara Allen's Cruelty  King Arthur's Death  Edward, Edward  Sir Lancelot Du Lake  The Bonny Earl of Murray  Sweet William's Ghost  The Boy and the Mantle  The Marriage of Sir Gawaine  King Ryence's Challenge
  20. 20. John Dyer (1699-1757) • ‘The Fleece’ • ‘Grongar Hill’ (1726) Robert Burns(1759-96) O my Luve's like a red, red rose That’s newly sprung in June; O my Luve's like the melodie That’s sweetly play'd in tune.
  21. 21. Features of Drama :- Restoration comedies lost favor Satires- Political ones Sentimental Comedy, Domestic Comedy More emphasis on plot Wit continues to be the key element
  22. 22. Henry Fielding Social Satire :- oThe Careless Husband (1732) oThe Universal Gallant (1735) Political Satire :- o Mock Doctor (1732) o The Historical Register for 1736 (1737) The Tragedy of Tragedies; or, the Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great (1730)
  23. 23. RB Sheridan “ Comedy of Character”  The School for Scandal (1777)  The Critic (1779)  The Duenna (1775)  The Rivals (1775)
  24. 24. Richard Steele • The Funeral (1701) • The Lying Lover(1703) • The Tender Husband(1705) Colley Cibber (1671-1757) • Love’s Last Shift (1696) • Careless Husband (1704)
  25. 25. Oliver Goldsmith • ‘ The Good Natur’dman • ‘She Stoops to Conquer’ (Class tensions) John Gay Farce • ‘The Beggar's Opera’ (1728) • ‘Achillies’
  26. 26. Features of Fiction :-  Emphasis on sentiments and manners  Satiric exploration of human follies and vices  Rise of Picaresque tradition (habits and adventures of a Picaro or rogue)  Comic effects by idiosyncratic character (unusual character)  The origins of Gothic sensibility derived from medievalism  Social commentaries-popular-virtues and moral failings
  27. 27. Structure experimentation by Laurence Sterne in ‘The Life and Opinions of Trisham Shandy’
  28. 28. Daniel Defoe Robinson Crusoe(1719) Memoirs of a Cavalier (1720) Captain Singleton (1720) Journal of a Plague Year (1722) Moll Flanders (1724) Roxana (1724)
  29. 29.  Laurance Sterne (1713-68) ‘The Life and Opinions of Trisham Shandy’ (1759-67)  Henry Mackenzie(1745-1831 ) ‘Man of Feeling’ (1771) ‘Man of the World’ (1773)  Samuel Richardson (1689-1761) ‘Pamela’ (1740) ‘Clarissa’ (1747-48)  Horace Walpole (1717-97) ‘Castle of Otrando ’ (1764)  Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) ‘The Battle of the Books’ (1696-98) ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ (1726)  Henry Fielding ‘Shamela’ (1741) ‘Tom Jones’ (1749)
  30. 30. Tobais Smolett ‘The Adventures of Roderick Random’ (1748) ‘ The Adventures of Ferdinand ‘’Fathom (1753) ‘The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker (1771) Oliver Goldsmith ‘The Vikar of Wakefield’ (1766) Eliza Haywood ‘The History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless (1751)’ Sarah Fielding ‘David Simple’ (1744) ‘The Governess’ (1749)
  31. 31. References:- Albert, Edward.History of English Literature . Nayar,Pramod K. A Short History of English Literature

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