The Pleasures of the Imagination


Book Details

Author  John Brewer
Publisher  University Of Chicago Press
Publication Date   April 15, 2000
ISBN  0226074196
Pages  752

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John Brewer's landmark book brings to life the rich cultural life of eighteenth-century England. He describes how literature, painting, music, and the theater related to a public increasingly avid for them; how artists used, or were used by, publishers, plagiarists, impresarios, and managers; and how contemporary ideas of taste combined with patriotic fervor and shrewdly managed commerce to create a vibrant, dynamic national culture.

"A magnificent achievement. . . . Enormous in its scope, astute in its choices of examples, learned in its resources, but written with an almost unfailing lucidity and accessibility." —David A. Bell, New Republic

"Brewer takes us on a grand tour of the exciting, fluid, often raucous world of the 18th-century arts. . . . A brilliantly illustrated social history." —T. H. Breen, New York Times Book Review

"Every so often a work of intellectual history comes along that reinvigorates the common reader's interest in the past. . . . Exhilarating. . . . No one interested in modern intellectual history should miss it." —Michael Dirda, Washington Post

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