The Pleasures of the Imagination: English Culture in the Eighteenth Century

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9780415658850: The Pleasures of the Imagination: English Culture in the Eighteenth Century

The Pleasures of the Imagination examines the birth and development of English "high culture" in the eighteenth century. It charts the growth of a literary and artistic world fostered by publishers, theatrical and musical impresarios, picture dealers and auctioneers, and presented to th public in coffee-houses, concert halls, libraries, theatres and pleasure gardens. In 1660, there were few professional authors, musicians and painters, no public concert series, galleries, newspaper critics or reviews. By the dawn of the nineteenth century they were all aprt of the cultural life of the nation.

John Brewer's enthralling book explains how this happened and recreates the world in which the great works of English eighteenth-century art were made. Its purpose is to show how literature, painting, music and the theatre were communicated to a public increasingly avid for them. It explores the alleys and garrets of Grub Street, rummages the shelves of bookshops and libraries, peers through printsellers' shop windows and into artists' studios, and slips behind the scenes at Drury Lane and Covent Garden. It takes us out of Gay and Boswell's London to visit the debating clubs, poetry circles, ballrooms, concert halls, music festivals, theatres and assemblies that made the culture of English provincial towns, and shows us how the national landscape became one of Britain's greatest cultural treasures. It reveals to us a picture of English artistic and literary life in the eighteenth century less familiar, but more suprising, more various and more convincing than any we have seen before.

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Review :

"[T]his history book is now, for me, the last word on how British literary culture changed between the last days of the early modern period and the Victorian age ... give this book as a present to your favourite amateur historian: they will love you for it." - Kate Macdonald, Vulpes Libris

"Pleasures of the Imagination paints a kaleidoscopic picture of eighteenth-century culture that is both erudite and accessible." - Heather Mcpherson, University of Alabama at Birmingham

"If you want to understand how British culture reinvented itself in the eighteenth century, read The Pleasures of the Imagination... Like all really original achievements it makes us sharply rethink things we supposed we knew well, but it does so with humour and humanity, and through the text runs Brewer's remarkable intellect: forceful, lucid and penetrating." - Simon Schama

"The Pleasures of the Imagination is a splendid cornucopia of a book. It describes the contortions of the eighteenth century as it developed a culture... It is full of pure delight... The marvel of this book is that in writing in exuberant detail about the past, Brewer succeeds in illuminating the present... This book wears its massive scholarship lightly. I hope some of our new political masters have time to read it, for it is a history that teaches us many lessons." - Peter Hall, The Observer

"Brewer ranges over almost every corner of the English mind with sharp, darting observation... Brewer is perceptive, amusing and thorough wherever he strays. This is by far the most complete and up-to-date account of the evolving Georgian arts... We are shown round a society aiming at Rome but often hitting Babylon, with the combined attitutes of fin-de siecle Paris and of Las Vegas. This is a book to treasure as it treasures a past we thought we had lost." - Pat Rogers, Sunday Telegraph

"A model of the new cultural history... In Britons, Linda Colley highlighted the new political, patriotic and religious tides which flowed in the Georgian age, creating a fresh confidence and sense of national identity... The Pleasures of the Imagination confirms this view of the main of the public mind. It shows how the English came to feel not just strong but civilized too, polite as well as powerful. God's chosen people, of the age of Cromwell, were reinventing themselves as Shakespeare's heirs." - Roy Porter, The Independent

From Kirkus Reviews :

In encyclopedic detail and with Johnsonian style and gusto, Brewer expatiates on the cultural development of a Public--reading, listening, and viewing--and the rise of Taste. Historian Brewer follows his work on the politics and government of the same period in Britain, The Sinews of Power (1989), with a reassessment of British culture as it moved out of the aristocratic Renaissance and rakish Restoration, and evolved into a culture driven in part by an extraordinarily mercantile middle class. Brewer demonstrates how London emerged as the center of a boom in literature, music, and art--admittedly from mercenary forces. Grub Street produced Pope and Johnson; the urban landscape inspired Hogarth and Rowlandson; Handel and Haydn found financial independence in oratorios and public concerts; and David Garrick combined the roles of actor-manager and neoclassical interpreter of Shakespeare. Brewer is equally interested in the consumers of this expanding culture. His glosses of the bookselling trade, the mercurial London theater, and art auctions and exhibitions are supported by firsthand accounts, such as those of Anna Larpent, an intellectual lady of leisure and taste, and Ozias Humphry, a miniaturist who never quite succeeded in the art business. With this refinement of taste, though, a cultural divide emerged between connoisseurs and dilettantes, amateurs and professionals, London and the provinces. Brewer, however, shows how the provinces not only absorbed culture from London but distributed it more evenly as well. Outside the home counties, he unearths lesser-known but interesting figures: Thomas Bewick, a successful Newcastle engraver; Anna Seward, the Lichfield bluestocking and contentious associate of Johnson; and John Marsh, a Chichester gentleman with a passion for amateur music. Only a book as rich, diverse, and allusive as Brewer's could do justice to the phenomenal cultural expansion of 18th-century England. (240 b&w illustrations, 8 pages color illustrations, not seen) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Description du livre Taylor Francis Ltd, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Pleasures of the Imagination examines the birth and development of English high culture in the eighteenth century. It charts the growth of a literary and artistic world fostered by publishers, theatrical and musical impresarios, picture dealers and auctioneers, and presented to th public in coffee-houses, concert halls, libraries, theatres and pleasure gardens. In 1660, there were few professional authors, musicians and painters, no public concert series, galleries, newspaper critics or reviews. By the dawn of the nineteenth century they were all aprt of the cultural life of the nation. John Brewer s enthralling book explains how this happened and recreates the world in which the great works of English eighteenth-century art were made. Its purpose is to show how literature, painting, music and the theatre were communicated to a public increasingly avid for them. It explores the alleys and garrets of Grub Street, rummages the shelves of bookshops and libraries, peers through printsellers shop windows and into artists studios, and slips behind the scenes at Drury Lane and Covent Garden.It takes us out of Gay and Boswell s London to visit the debating clubs, poetry circles, ballrooms, concert halls, music festivals, theatres and assemblies that made the culture of English provincial towns, and shows us how the national landscape became one of Britain s greatest cultural treasures. It reveals to us a picture of English artistic and literary life in the eighteenth century less familiar, but more suprising, more various and more convincing than any we have seen before. N° de réf. du libraire AA69780415658850

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Description du livre Taylor Francis Ltd, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Pleasures of the Imagination examines the birth and development of English high culture in the eighteenth century. It charts the growth of a literary and artistic world fostered by publishers, theatrical and musical impresarios, picture dealers and auctioneers, and presented to th public in coffee-houses, concert halls, libraries, theatres and pleasure gardens. In 1660, there were few professional authors, musicians and painters, no public concert series, galleries, newspaper critics or reviews. By the dawn of the nineteenth century they were all aprt of the cultural life of the nation. John Brewer s enthralling book explains how this happened and recreates the world in which the great works of English eighteenth-century art were made. Its purpose is to show how literature, painting, music and the theatre were communicated to a public increasingly avid for them. It explores the alleys and garrets of Grub Street, rummages the shelves of bookshops and libraries, peers through printsellers shop windows and into artists studios, and slips behind the scenes at Drury Lane and Covent Garden.It takes us out of Gay and Boswell s London to visit the debating clubs, poetry circles, ballrooms, concert halls, music festivals, theatres and assemblies that made the culture of English provincial towns, and shows us how the national landscape became one of Britain s greatest cultural treasures. It reveals to us a picture of English artistic and literary life in the eighteenth century less familiar, but more suprising, more various and more convincing than any we have seen before. N° de réf. du libraire AA69780415658850

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Description du livre Taylor & Francis Ltd. Paperback. État : new. BRAND NEW, The Pleasures of the Imagination: English Culture in the Eighteenth Century, John Brewer, The Pleasures of the Imagination examines the birth and development of English "high culture" in the eighteenth century. It charts the growth of a literary and artistic world fostered by publishers, theatrical and musical impresarios, picture dealers and auctioneers, and presented to th public in coffee-houses, concert halls, libraries, theatres and pleasure gardens. In 1660, there were few professional authors, musicians and painters, no public concert series, galleries, newspaper critics or reviews. By the dawn of the nineteenth century they were all aprt of the cultural life of the nation. John Brewer's enthralling book explains how this happened and recreates the world in which the great works of English eighteenth-century art were made. Its purpose is to show how literature, painting, music and the theatre were communicated to a public increasingly avid for them. It explores the alleys and garrets of Grub Street, rummages the shelves of bookshops and libraries, peers through printsellers' shop windows and into artists' studios, and slips behind the scenes at Drury Lane and Covent Garden. It takes us out of Gay and Boswell's London to visit the debating clubs, poetry circles, ballrooms, concert halls, music festivals, theatres and assemblies that made the culture of English provincial towns, and shows us how the national landscape became one of Britain's greatest cultural treasures. It reveals to us a picture of English artistic and literary life in the eighteenth century less familiar, but more suprising, more various and more convincing than any we have seen before. N° de réf. du libraire B9780415658850

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Description du livre Taylor & Francis Ltd, 2013. État : New. 2013. Paperback. "First published in 1997 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux." Num Pages: 576 pages, 246 black & white illustrations. BIC Classification: 1DBKE; 3JF; ACQ; HBJD1; HBTB; JFC. Category: (UP) Postgraduate, Research & Scholarly; (UU) Undergraduate. Dimension: 175 x 245 x 26. Weight in Grams: 980. . . . . . . N° de réf. du libraire V9780415658850

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