The Georgians: The Deeds and Misdeeds of 18th-Century Britain (Hardback)
  • The Georgians: The Deeds and Misdeeds of 18th-Century Britain (Hardback)

The Georgians: The Deeds and Misdeeds of 18th-Century Britain (Hardback)

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Hardback 488 Pages / Published: 25/01/2022
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A comprehensive history of the Georgians, comparing past views of these exciting, turbulent, and controversial times with our attitudes today.

The Georgian era is often seen as a time of innovations. It saw the end of monarchical absolutism, global exploration and settlements overseas, the world's first industrial revolution, deep transformations in religious and cultural life, and Britain's role in the international trade in enslaved Africans. But how were these changes perceived by people at the time? And how do their viewpoints compare with attitudes today?

In this wide-ranging history, Penelope J. Corfield explores every aspect of Georgian life-politics and empire, culture and society, love and violence, religion and science, industry and towns. People's responses at the time were often divided. Pessimists saw loss and decline, while optimists saw improvements and light. Out of such tensions came the Georgian culture of both experiment and resistance. Corfield emphasizes those elements of deep continuity that persisted even within major changes, and shows how new developments were challenged if their human consequences proved dire.

Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300253573
Number of pages: 488
Weight: 851 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 4 mm

"The novelist Brigid Brophy wrote that "the two most fascinating subjects in the universe are sex and the eighteenth century". Corfield's comprehensive survey of the Georgians assembles evidence for this claim: their deeds and misdeeds, their contributions to cultural and scientific progress and their pursuit of empire and enslavement are a hotly disputed legacy."-Ruth Scurr, Financial Times

"This book is a delight, stuffed with good things . . . A fascinating . . . richly informative book."-Andrew Taylor, The Times, (Book of the Week)

"Corfield's book is full of such intriguing little nuggets . . . One of the strengths of Corfield's survey of the Georgians is that she finds lots of room for eccentric and contradictory voices."-Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times

"An ambitious chronicle . . . Corfield can write with confidence and authority about the whole sweep of the period because she has already contributed greatly to our knowledge of developments that shaped the age . . . She gives the period a dynastic label, but is well aware that other tags could be applied to it."-Judith Hawley, Times Literary Supplement

"A fascinating book . . . Corfield's grasp and authority are evident throughout. Despite making occasional reference to modern intellectual heavyweights such as Gramsci or Habermas, she maintains a lightness of phrase that makes her book never less than enthralling."-Wynn Wheldon, Spectator

"Offers a clear, comprehensive and enthusiastic survey of public and private customs and practices . . . The Georgians is manifestly the work of someone who has thought and written about this period for decades."-Freya Johnston, Literary Review

"A vivid compendium of Georgian life, from the stateliness of its architecture and the creakiness of its constituion to its celebrity culture and sexual mores."-Michael Prodger, New Statesman

"In this beautifully written, in-depth account, foremost expert on the period Penelope J. Corfield considers how people at the time responded to these seismic changes and how their viewpoints compare with people's attitudes today as we continue to live with the legacies."-This England

"Wide-ranging data and material-from the average Briton's height, population and immigration statistics to cultural and sexual activity-is expertly corralled using a clear writing style, which will certainly appeal to the general reader, as well as the scholar."-Jacqueline Riding, Country Life

"Much like the era it explores, The Georgians is packed with material and intellectual variety, all given life through a host of diverse contemporary voices. Corfield is a giant in the field of 18th-century history and readers are led deftly by an expert whose knowledge is brought into panoramic and colourful view...Corfield makes an utterly compelling case for the legacies of the Georgians and their impact today."-Madeleine Pelling, History Today

"Outstanding and accessible...A social history written with empathy and panache, blending breadth of coverage, depth of understanding and a wealth of detail with enviable clarity of style and explanation."-Martin Wellings, Methodist Recorder

"Chockablock with mentions of people and events of the era, Penelope Corfield's work is as thorough as would be hoped, the facts woven to tell a detailed account of Georgian history, covering numerous themes and trains of thought."-Family Tree Magazine

"A magisterial recreation and analysis of the long eighteenth century in Britain from one of the key architects of this vibrant field; commanding in range, pellucid in prose, brilliant in argument and salted by a sly, dry wit throughout. Decades of learning are worn so lightly, but don't be deceived by the seductively readable style, you are in the hands of the complete mistress of the subject."-Amanda Vickery, author of Behind Closed Doors

"A magnificent book of astonishing depth and range that addresses the complexity of the Georgians and their many legacies with Corfield's formidable insight, expertise and clarity. The book puts the Georgians in conversation with our own time. Without doubt, this is an account of the Georgians of and for the 21st-century."-Karen Harvey, author of The Imposteress Rabbit Breeder: Mary Toft and Eighteenth-Century England

"The Georgians are given to us as an argumentative, opinionated and very lively lot. A major work based on a lifetime of research, this wonderful survey helps us to understand an amazing society which was, perhaps, more than the sum of its parts"-Frank O'Gorman, author of The Long Eighteenth Century

"The Georgians come alive in Penelope Corfield's elegantly written account. The experiences of individuals from all levels of society provide a compelling and accessible understanding of major themes in a crucial period of British history."-Martin Daunton, author of Wealth and Welfare

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“My new "go-to" reference book”

As a reviewer, I’m often given free electronic copies of books and Penelope J. Corfield’s book, The Georgians: The Deeds and Misdeeds of 18th-Century Britain, was one such book, given to me by the publisher through... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 2

“Very thorough”

This was a thorough overview of the Georgian period which contained a lot of information and appeared to be extremely well researched. While it was at times a little dry for the casual reader, it's undoubtedly a... More

Hardback edition
3 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 1

“All-encompassing, yet incredibly readable”

This book is an absolute joy! Corfield brings a huge amount of knowledge about a long period of time (late 17th century to early 19th century) and yet presents it in a very straightforward and enjoyable way. Taking... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 0

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