Saturday, 7 February 2009

Henry Fielding and London in the 1750s

By the 1750s, when Thomas Gray's "Elegy in a Country Churchyard" was published (although it was probably begun in 1742) London was growing at an astonishing rate through trade and from an influx of people from the countryside. More than 575,000 souls existed in overcrowded streets in which crime, disease, gin-drinking, fake lotteries, afflicted everyone. 

As today, the differences between the rich and the poor was increasing year, by year. Great affluence existed alongside grinding poverty. It was still the age of  "The Peacock Man" which had begun after the Restoration 90 years before. It was an age of excessive behaviour in dress and immoral living; it was an age of exuberance and depression - an age of science and and an age of extremes.

For more information on London during this period try this link:

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About Me

I teach Film, Media and English Lit.