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A Polite and Commercial People


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Robin's reign, 1727-1742; the progress of politeness; industry and idleness; patriotism unmasked, 1742-1757; salvation by faith; the fortunate isle; patriotism restored, 1757-1770; new improvements; the birth of sensibility; Britannia's distress, 1770-1783; macaroni manners; opulence and glory; this happy constitution.

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Provost of Lincoln College, Oxford


`fascinating...carried through with great skill and clarity...the summaries of historical controversies are judicious and well-informed.' Observer `Elegantly written, it provides a solid framework of high political manoeuvre and a nuanced portrait of middle-class culture drawn from a host of under-explored literary sources.' Past and Present `Polished and provocative.' Roy Porter, New Statesman & Society

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