A Mad, Bad, and Dangerous People?
By (author) Boyd Hilton
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Mad, Bad, and Dangerous People? by Boyd Hilton
Book DescriptionThis was a transformative period in English history. In 1783 the country was at one of the lowest points in its fortunes, having just lost its American colonies in warfare. By 1846 it was once more a great imperial nation, as well as the world's strongest power and dominant economy, having benefited from what has sometimes (if misleadingly) been called the 'first industrial revolution'. In the meantime it survived a decade of invasion fears, and emerged victorious from more than twenty years of 'war to the death' against Napoleonic France. But if Britain's external fortunes were in the ascendant, the situation at home remained fraught with peril. The country's population was growing at a rate not experienced by any comparable former society, and its manufacturing towns especially were mushrooming into filthy, disease-ridden, gin-sodden hell-holes, in turn provoking the phantasmagoria of a mad, bad, and dangerous people. It is no wonder that these years should have experienced the most prolonged period of social unrest since the seventeenth century, or that the elite should have been in constant fear of a French-style revolution in England. The governing classes responded to these new challenges and by the mid-nineteenth century the seeds of a settled two-party system and of a more socially interventionist state were both in evidence, though it would have been far too soon to say at that stage whether those seeds would take permanent root. Another consequence of these tensions was the intellectual engagement with society, as for example in the Romantic Movement, a literary phenomenon that brought English culture to the forefront of European attention for the first time. At the same time the country experienced the great religious revival, loosely described under the heading 'evangelicalism'. Slowly but surely, the raffish and rakish style of eighteenth-century society, having reached a peak in the Regency, then succumbed to the new norms of respectability popularly known as 'Victorianism'.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780199218912
(235mm x 156mm x 38mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 19-Jun-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Boyd Hilton
Inside 'Little Britain', Paperback (June 2007)
Follows a year in the lives of Matt Lucas and David Walliams - the good, the bad, the mundane and the monumental. This book also covers their childhoods, family life and early comedy performances as they found their feet; their complex friendship and working relationship; and the increasingly insane world they inhabit.
Age of Atonement, Paperback (December 1991)» View all books by Boyd Hilton
An examination of the mentality of the first half of the 19th century, when catastrophes and personal misfortune were seen as dispensations of divine providence. In the 1850s and 1860s, however, a different attitude developed. at the centre of which was a new way of understanding the Atonement.
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Author Biography - Boyd Hilton
Boyd Hilton is Professor of Modern British History in the University of Cambridge and has been a Fellow of Trinity College since 1974. He has served as Senior Tutor, Dean, and Steward of the College. He is also a Fellow of the British Academy.
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