18th Century

Rule Britannia! Music, Mischief and Morals in the 18th Century

There seems to be something of a tendency for historical documentaries (about Britain) to announce that some aspect of the era under discussion is "the foundation of the modern world". In Rule Britannia! Music, Mischief and Morals in the 18th Century Suzy Klein's thesis was that the musical world of 18th Century Britain was the start of the music and entertainment business as we know it today.

Travels with Vasari; Melvyn Bragg's Radical Lives

Travels with Vasari is a two-part documentary we've had on the PVR for the last 4 years or thereabouts. It's presented by Andrew Graham Dixon and is about Vasari, and Renaissance Italy. Vasari was an artist in Italy in the 16th Century but nowadays he is much more famous for the book he wrote called "Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects". Dixon explained that this is the first work of art criticism and art history as we know those subjects today, and that Vasari can be credited with inventing them.

Literature of the English Country House (Course on Future Learn)

I'd not intended to overlap courses on Future Learn, because I thought it might end up feeling like it was taking up too much of my time. I was right, but I'm still glad I took the Literature of the English Country House course even tho it has overlapped with two courses that I'd already signed up for.

The First Georgians: The German Kings Who Made Britain; Tigers About the House; The Birth of Empire: The East India Company

The First Georgians: The Kings Who Made Britain was a series presented by Lucy Worsley which ties into an exhibition at Buckingham Palace this year to mark the 300th anniversary of George I taking the throne. The series (and presumably exhibition?) focussed on Georges I and II who are often overlooked a bit in the rush to get to George III and the madness and loss of the American colonies.

In Our Time: The Bluestockings

I'd always thought that "bluestocking" was just a Victorian pejorative for a woman who preferred learning to socialising, and that the term derived from the perceived frumpiness of said women. But the In Our Time episode that we listened to this Sunday disabused me of that notion. The Bluestockings were an influential intellectual "club" in late 18th Century England, which bore some resemblance to the French salons of the same era, involving both men and women. Only later did the term become gendered and pejorative.

Border Country: The Story of Britain's Lost Middleland; Rococo: Travel Pleasure Madness

Border Country can be fairly characterised as unashamed propaganda for the No-to-Independence side of the upcoming referendum in Scotland. To be fair that fits my own bias* so I was predisposed to like the series. The narrative structure for the two programmes was a history of the border regions of England and Scotland from the time of the Romans through to James VI & I as ruler of both countries.

In Our Time: The Physiocrats

The Physiocrats were members of a French school of economic thought that flourished in the 18th Century, and can be thought of as some of the first modern economists. The three experts who talked about them on In Our Time were Richard Whatmore (University of Sussex), Joel Felix (University of Reading) and Helen Paul (University of Southampton). The programme not only looked at what their economic theory was, but also set it in the context of the politics of the age and looked at the influence it had in its turn on politics.

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