Eighteenth Century Contexts and Texts

In the eighteenth century England was emerging with more self-confidence after having been embedded in a long period of political turmoil during its civil war. There was a newfound sense of unity sweeping through the nation providing a more coherent British identity. This period is marked by the expansion of the British empire which allowed novels to host exotic locations as their settings. Wealth generated by industry and trade allowed the publishing industry to grow to meet the needs of the expanding middle class audience. Mass readership led to the emergence of the public sphere which enabled private individuals to express their own opinions.



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