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The Restoration Introduction to the Literary Period. Feature Menu. Key Concept: Order and Reason Key Concept: Social Classes Key Concept: Values and Beliefs Your Turn. Key Concept: Order and Reason. History of the Times.

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The Restoration Introduction to the Literary Period


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the restoration introduction to the literary period
The RestorationIntroduction to the Literary Period

Feature Menu

Key Concept: Order and Reason

Key Concept: Social Classes

Key Concept: Values and Beliefs

Your Turn

key concept order and reason
Key Concept: Order and Reason

History of the Times

  • In 1660, after twenty years of civil war and Puritan dictatorship, England is ready for stability and the return of Charles II.
  • Five years later, London suffers an outbreak of plague, and the Great Fire ravages city in 1666.
  • The Glorious Revolution of 1688 enables William and Mary to take the throne without bloodshed.
  • Parliament becomes more powerful; a two-party system emerges. The Age of Reason ushers in era of scientific and rational thought.
key concept order and reason3
Key Concept: Order and Reason

Literature of the Times

  • Restoration literature is influenced by French classical ideas.
  • The emphasis on cleverness, or wit, is intended for the upper classes.
  • Writers Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift use satire in their works.
  • Journalism emerges as a new form of writing.
  • Neoclassical writers revive standards of order found in classical literature of ancient Rome.
key concept social classes
Key Concept: Social Classes

History of the Times

  • The social order of Restoration England was based on the class system.
  • The hereditary nobility at the top of the system indulged in elegance and excess.
  • The poor lived in sewage-strewn streets or rat-filled tenements. Children had to work.
  • Industrialization created overcrowded slums and wretched working conditions.
  • Physicians served only the rich. Seventy-four percent of children died before age 5.
key concept social classes5
Key Concept: Social Classes

Literature of the Times

  • After the return of Charles II, English writers were receptive to French wit and literary taste.
  • The most successful literary form was the drama. Lavish theater dramas reflected the sophistication of Charles’s court.
  • On the stage, the comedy of manners appealed to men and women of fashion.
  • The novel finds an audience in the middle class.
key concept values and beliefs
Key Concept: Values and Beliefs

Literature of the Times

  • As the state religion, the Anglican church dominated religious life.
  • Protestants who remained outside the Anglican church were known as Dissenters.
  • Prominent writers of this period were Roman Catholics and Dissenters.
  • Many were denied public office and university education despite ample talents.