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Why should anyone give a toss about 18th century literature?

By John-Paul Flintoff

“This period should interest anybody who’s interested in literature, because many of the genres we enjoy today were either invented then, or transformed,” says Professor John Mullan.

“It’s a time of incredible invention in writing… They invented journalism. Pope wrote the most gorgeous, intricate satirical poetry ever written… Swift wrote the most deadly, frightening satirical prose… Daniel Defoe invented the novel. If you are interested in novels, maybe you would be interested in this period!”

More from my interview with Professor Mullan:

Why was 1714 such a turning point?
Irony is seen as difficult
An age of unparalleled irreverence and wit

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Posted: February 5, 2015