Wednesday, June 10, 2009

1700 to 1799: The American Crisis to Nathan the Wise.

Chronology of World, British, and American Literature

Thomas Paine. American. 1776/83. Pamphlets. The American Crisis. Sixteen pamphlets touching on all the important issues of the Revolution. Later papers called for a strong federal union.

Edward Gibbon. British. 1776/88. Nonfiction. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Three periods, thirteen centuries. History is the record of “…crimes, follies, misfortunes of mankind.”

Richard B. Sheridan. British. 1777. Play. The School for Scandal. Ladies meet to create and spread gossip; complicated plot in which relationships—couples’ and relatives’—are tested and eventually reunited or rejected.

Fanny Burney. British. 1778. Novel. Evelina, or the History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World. Country girl goes to London; courted; misunderstandings; turns out to be of noble birth.

Ephraim Lessing. German. 1779. Play. Nathan the Wise
. Jerusalem during the Crusades. Essential unity of all religions. All religions are forms of one great truth.

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