Thursday, August 2, 2007

1728 to 1740

The Beggar's Opera. John Gay. British. 1728. Play. Barbs aimed at the Italian opera, Walpole, marriage, ladies, gentlemen, lawyers, trade and sentimental tragedy.

The Dunciad. Alexander Pope. British. 1728/43. Poetry. Attacks the critics of his works. Cibber--king of the Dunces, the emperor of Dullness, which reigns supreme.

1729. Natchez Indians in Louisiana colony attack settlers, massacring 200+ and taking hundreds prisoner.

1729. Methodism has its beginnings at Oxford U. Named for Charles Wesley's methodical study habits.

"A Modest Proposal." Jonathan Swift. British. 1729. Satire. Mocking suggestion that the Irish poor rear children to be killed and sold for eating.

1731. First circulating library in North America founded by B. Franklin.

Manon Lescaut. Abbe Prevost. French. 1731. Novel. Brilliant scholar destroys himself for a tart.

An Essay on Man. Alexander Pope. British. 1733/34. Poetry. Four epistles: man's relation to the universe, to himself, to society and to happiness. Deism. Optimistic. Leibnitz. Coherent scheme of the universe. Neoclassical faith in reason. Respect for tradition and authority. "Whatever is, is right." "Vindicate the ways of God to man."

Chrononhotonthologos. Henry Carey. British. 1734. Play. "The Most Tragical Tragedy That Was Ever Tragedized by Any Company of Tragedians." Frank criticism of the theater of his day. Title = the name of the King of Queerumania, a pompous main character, a bombast who delivers inflated addresses.

1735. Trustees of Georgia Colony prohibit slavery and importation of rum.

1735. John Peter Zenger gains landmark victory for freedom of the press. Acquitted of libel against New York governor because his reports of rigged election were true.

Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot. Alexander Pope. British. 1735. Poetry/Satire. Dialogue. Pope judges his own work. Pitilessly attacks contemporaries, especially Joseph Addison.

Dissertation upon Parties. Henry St. John (Viscount Bolingbroke). British. 1735. Pamphlet. Rejects the divine right of kings. The king should be free from factionalism; should preserve civil liberties and a balanced government.

1736. Britain repeals statutes against witchcraft.

1736. Philadelphia police force created by B. Franklin. First city-paid constabulary.

1738. Slave rebellion in South Carolina crushed.

1740. In Connecticut, first house-to-house peddlers.

1740. Moravians at Bethlehem, PA, introduce Saint Nicholas. For New England Puritans, Christmas is a working day.

1740. Post roads link Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Charleston, Virginia.

Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded. Samuel Richardson. British. 1740/42. Novel. Epistolary (in the form of letters) novel. First modern English novel. Persuades seducer to marry her.

No comments: