Satire was everywhere in the age of Dr Johnson. Although the eighteenth century was by most historical standards a peaceful and prosperous one, its writers and artists were always at one another’s throats. Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, John Gay’s Beggar’s Opera, and Alexander Pope’s Dunciad took the literary world by storm. Everyone read them despite their darkness and oddity. Even at the end of the century a spirit of satire still animated the novels of Frances Burney, Jane Austen and Maria Edgeworth. It was an age of irony, and only the Romantic-period cults of sincerity and sentiment could bring it to an end.
The story of satire in the eighteenth century has many parallels in the divided culture of twenty-first century Britain. Then as now satire happened virally, in bursts of angry energy. Cultural bubbles and silo mentality helped it to flare up, as they do today. Theirs, like ours, was an age of information technology and social awakening: satire still mocks such advances with gloomy glee. In this lecture Dr Paddy Bullard, editor of The Oxford Handbook of Eighteenth-Century Satire, asks what we can learn from the triumphs and failures of an older generation of satirists for our own fractious age.
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Reserve tickets at this website2020-06-11 19:00 2020-06-11 19:00 Europe/London Viral Satire in Dr Johnson’s London In this lecture Dr Paddy Bullard, editor of The Oxford Handbook of Eighteenth-Century Satire, asks what we can learn from the triumphs and failures of an older generation of satirists for our own fractious age. https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/calendar/2020/06/11/viral-satire-in-dr-johnsons-london-230046 Dr Johnson's House,17 Gough Square, London, London,