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The Age of Scandal by T. H. White

The Age of Scandal (original 1950; edition 1993)

by T. H. White, Reay Tannahill (Introduction)

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244370,166 (3.41)3
Title:The Age of Scandal
Authors:T. H. White
Other authors:Reay Tannahill (Introduction)
Info:Folio Society (1993), Edition: First Thus, Hardcover, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:history, 18th century, read 2011

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The Age of Scandal by T. H. White (1950)



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Proof that our own age doesn't have a monopoly on gossip, stomach-churning cruelty, or ridiculous behavior by the rich, etc. etc. This is an entertaining read for the most part, marred by White's rather obtuse style at times and his insufferable habit of quoting long passages in French without any translation. In this regard, it would work better as a Kindle book, where I have been able to use the Translate feature to make my way through other books with the same issue. I must say that, unlike a lot of books which might be considered shocking in their day, this one is STILL shocking. ( )
1 vote datrappert | May 29, 2017 |
The author claims to have written this as an escape from the egalitarian spirit of the early nineteen fiftes. In the most affectionate spirit, he digs the dirt on the old aristocracy.

Told largely as excerpted quotations from contemporary sources it is full of scabrous anecdotes and admiration for Dr Johnson; a sort f 'News of the World' view of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Well worth reading just for the salacious details. ( )
  Philogos | Jul 5, 2011 |
When I first read this when young, I found it fascinating fotr its picture of bizarre behavior among the engilsh elite. Rereading it, I note a very Tory attitutde to the socioeconomic effects of the Atlee era (when it was written) and some inaccurate but colorful stories. It is still fun, though. ( )
  antiquary | Dec 6, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
T. H. Whiteprimary authorall editionscalculated
Tannahill, ReayIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0192819488, Paperback)

"Between the Classical and the Romantic movements...there existed this other age, which was one of peculiar flavour," writes T.H. White, author of the classic children's novel The Sword in the Stone and numerous other tales of Arthurian bravery. In The Age of Scandal, first published in 1950, White focuses on the period in late 18th-century England that followed the Age of Reason--a period characterized by dilettantism, material comfort, and eccentricity. The literary sway of Swift, Pope, and Dr. Johnson had by then given way to a more aristocratic set of literati, of whom Horace Walpole, writing from the house he had christened Strawberry Hill, was the most splendid and eloquent example. Walpole and his contemporaries "were among the first people in England to be apprehended as personalities," writes White. "Eccentric, individual, sentimental, dramatic, [and] tearful," they were lovers of gossip, fashion, and exhibitionistic behavior. Among the most colorful figures of the age were Selwyn, a famed execution-goer; Beckford, who built an astonishing tower at Fronthill; and Joanna Southcott, remembered for her shocking announcement that she would give birth to the new Messiah.
Based on writings by Horace Walpole and other literate recorders of the age, T.H. White has constructed a "little scrapbook of a nostalgic Tory." Here is the fascinating record of another period of literary history by one of the best-loved writers of our own. White describes the eccentricities of the 18th-century Royal Family, the fashions of the nobility--the powdering of wigs, eating and drinking, medicine, birthday parties and theater-going, and English pronunciation; attitudes toward religion and sport; and, above all, the outgageous gossip that circulated in literary circles. A witty, idiosyncratic, audacious portrait of an aristocracy on the wane, The Age of Scandal stands as an entertaining, authoritative description of the late 18th-century English literati.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:01 -0400)

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