Friday, May 29, 2009

1700 to 1799: Manon Lescaut to Peregrine Pickle

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Abbe Prevost. French. 1731. Novel. Manon Lescaut. Brilliant scholar destroys himself for a tart.

Alexander Pope. British. 1733/34. Poetry. An Essay on Man. Four epistles: man’s relation to the universe, to himself, to society and to happiness. Deism. Optimistic. Leibnitz. Coherent scheme of the universe. Neoclassical faith in reason. Respect for tradition and authority. “Whatever is, is right.” “Vindicate the ways of God to man.”

Henry Carey. British. 1734. Play. Chronohotonthologos. “The Most Tragical Tragedy That Was Ever Tragedized by Any Company of Tragedians.” Frank criticism of the theater of his day. Title = the name of the King of Queerumania, a pompous main character, a bombast who delivers inflated addressed.

Samuel Johnson. British. 1750/52. Essays. The Rambler. Deal with mores and literature. Thought to be dull in comparison to The Spectator.

Tobias Smollett. British. 1751. Novel. The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle. Dissipated rascal, almost a villain, gets second fortune and a second chance.

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