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"An age of unparalleled irreverence and wit"

By John-Paul Flintoff

“The 18th century was when ‘being modern’ was invented. No longer did anybody take anything for granted,” says Professor John Mullan, of UCL. “I wouldn’t want to live then – too smelly, no analgesics – but their literature was better than anything we can imagine.”

More from my interview with Professor Mullan:

Why should anybody give a toss about 18th century literature?
Irony is seen as difficult
Why was 1714 such a turning point?

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Posted: February 5, 2015