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The Society of Dilettanti: Archaeology and Identity in the British Enlightenment

Overview

In 1732 a group of elite young men who had met on the grand tour formed a convivial dining club called the Society of Dilettanti. By the middle of the 18th century the Dilettanti took on an influential role in cultural matters, organizing archaeological expeditions, forming the Royal Academy and the British Museum, and ultimately becoming one of the most prominent and influential societies of the British Enlightenment.

This lively and illuminating account is the most detailed ...

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Overview

In 1732 a group of elite young men who had met on the grand tour formed a convivial dining club called the Society of Dilettanti. By the middle of the 18th century the Dilettanti took on an influential role in cultural matters, organizing archaeological expeditions, forming the Royal Academy and the British Museum, and ultimately becoming one of the most prominent and influential societies of the British Enlightenment.

This lively and illuminating account is the most detailed analysis of the early Society of Dilettanti to date. Jason M. Kelly places the group at the complex intersection of international and national discourses that shaped the British Enlightenment; thus, it sheds new light on 18th-century grand tourism, elite masculinity, sociability, aesthetics, architecture, and archaeology.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of British Studies

"[M]eticulously researched and elegantly presented . . . [a] fine and important study."—W.C. Lubenow, Journal of British Studies

— W.C. Lubenow

Journal of British Studies - W.C. Lubenow
"[M]eticulously researched and elegantly presented . . . [a] fine and important study."—W.C. Lubenow, Journal of British Studies
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jason M. Kelly is Assistant Professor of History at Indiana University–Purdue University, Indianapolis.

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Table of Contents

Pt. I The Social World of the Dilettanti 1

1 The Dilettante Culture of the Eighteenth Century 7

2 Libertinism and Masculine Association in Enlightenment London 61

Pt. II The Anni Mirabiles of British Classical Archaeology 91

3 Charlemont and Wood in the Making of British Classical Archaeology 113

4 Architecture and Archaeology in Enlightenment Thought 145

5 Archaeology and Identity in the British Enlightenment 173

Pt. III A Dilettantish Legacy 207

6 A "Kind of Turkish Fabrick" 217

7 The Dilettanti at the End of the Enlightenment 241

Appendix 267

Notes 273

Select Bibliography 318

Photograph Credits 356

Index 357

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