Eighteenth-Century Popular Culture: A Selection

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This book is a carefully annotated selection of eighteenth-century writings about popular culture. During the eighteenth century, popular culture assumed a peculiar importance. In the early part of the century, high and low cultures often collided. Later in the century, politeness more and more required the distancing of genteel from vulgar amusements. This collection rediscovers some of the energies of the low and the vulgar in the period by examining particular themes (crime, religious enthusiasm, popular politics, for example) and telling particular stories (the career of a notorious criminal, the exploits of a religious sect, John Wilkes and the crowd). It also illustrates how the very idea of popular culture was formed in the period, providing examples of the ways in which it was discussed both by those who were fearful of it and those who were fascinated by it.
  • This interdisciplinary reader throws new light on a neglected area of study

About the Authors:
John Mullan is Senior Lecturer in English, University College, London

Christopher Reid is Senior Lecturer in English, Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"accessible to modern readers...wealth of information...balanced and clear prose...seemingly effortless read. Mullan and Reid's compilation should be a useful supplementary text for any classroom studying eighteenth-century literature, culture, or history and provides a unique reference tool for readers and writers interested in the century."—ECCB

"The collection is packed with good things, and is the more interesting because of its unusual construction.... The ripples of interest...spread out beyond and behind the text, carried on the waves of commentary and annotations and suggestions for further reading."—Times Literary Supplement

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198711346
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

John Mullan is Senior Lecturer in English, University College, London

Christopher Reid is Senior Lecturer in English, Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London

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Table of Contents

Using the Selection
1. Eighteenth-Century Views of Popular Culture
2. Religious enthusiasm: the French Prophets, 1707-1711
3. Fairgoers and Reformers: the Struggle for Bartholomew Fair
4. Almanacs: Astrology and Popular Protestantism
5. Crime: the Fortunes of Jack Sheppard
6. Custom and the Calendar: the Gregorian Reform and its Opponents
7. Popular Politics: John Wilkes and the Crowd, 1768-70
8. Popular Perceptions of Empire: Native Americans in Britain in the 1760s

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