Shire Book: Early 18th Century Britain 1700-1739

Shire Book: Early 18th Century Britain 1700-1739


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The early eighteenth century saw British society move towards greater stability and sustainability following the centuries of turmoil that had climaxed in bloody civil-war and the drama and decadence of the Restoration. The inexorable rise of the middle-classes brushed aside outdated customs, etiquette and prejudices and powered the 'Reformation of Manners', a new system of social mores and rules for a fast-developing nation, and cities were planned to benefit from careful lighting and green spaces. This period, accessibly described here by Lorna Coventry, was a tremendous step towards a recognizably modern Britain, giving us our first novels and, following the Great Fire, London districts through which we walk to this day. 

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