5. The Augustan Age

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5 – THE AUGUSTAN AGE


First half of the 18째century First Industrial Revolution

New inventions People started going to live in towns Newspapers Rise of the Novel


The Novel: a fictional form written by and for people of the middle class about every day life and events

Diary and epistolary forms: 1st person narrator to describe feelings and thoughts. Didactic aim: how to keep accounts, to write letters, to behave in society


Daniel Defoe 1660 –1731 Giornalista Opere:

Robinson Crusoè (1719, Man and wild nature; colonialism); Captain Singleton (1720, piracy) Moll Flanders (1722, woman’s situation) Roxana (1724, a courtesan’s life) The Journal of the Plague Year (1722, about plague in London)


SAMUEL RICHARDSON (1689 – 1761) Epistolary Novels; Didactic aim: moral lesson, how to behave in society and how to write letters. . Works: Pamela or The Virtue Rewarded (1740), Clarissa: Or the History of a Young Lady (1748)


Henry Fielding (1707 –1754)

Works: Tom Jones (1749) Joseph Andrews (1742)

Humor and social satire. Picaresque novel. Epic-comic plot J. Joyce (20th century)


Laurence Sterne (1713 – 1768) Irish-born novelist Satirist Precursor of Modernism ( J. Joyce) Work: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy (1759)


Tobias Smollet Scottish poet and author. Picaresque novels: The Adventures of Roderick Random (1748) The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle (1751) Charles Dickens (19th century)

(1721–1771)


Jonathan Swift (1667 – 1745)

Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, poet. Dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin. Works: Gulliver's Travels (1726, anti-utopia) A Modest Proposal (1729, suggestion given to rich people about how to cook poor children )


American War of Independence (1775–1783)

American people rebel against English heavy taxation


French Revolution (1789–1799)

ity, Equality rn te ra F , m o d e re F Ideals: rature influence on lite


The Gothic Novel Mystery and gloomy atmosphere Imagination and unconscious

Horace Walpole : The Castle of Otranto Anne Radcliff: The Mysteries of Udolpho Further developments 1800 - 2000 The Nightmare, H. Fuseli (1781)


PRE ROMANTICISM New sources of inspiration: Nordic and Celtic cultures; the Middle Ages, ancient national folk poetry (T. Percy); The Works of Ossian (J. Macpherson)

New features: originality and creativity; spontaneity; emphasis on individual genius; interest in the unknown and in the supernatural; free imagination; sensations; interest in Middle Ages; subjective feeling for nature; exotic times and places. .


The Graveyard Poetry Macpherson’s: Ossian (1760) Thomas Gray: Elegy written in an English Courtyard (1751, death makes everybody equal)