Nonfiction?

Talk18th Century British Literature

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Nonfiction?

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1lawecon
Edited: Sep 12, 2009, 9:00am

I am, of course, not surprised that some of the great literary works of 18th Century Britian are one of the predominate topics in this Group, but I am somewhat surprised that no one is mentioning nonfiction. Let me in particular recommend some of the key works of the Scottish Enligtenment as great reads. Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations and Theory of Moral Sentiments, Hume's Essay and Treatise, to say nothing of his political and moral essays. Hutcheson, Ferguson, Reid and Lord Kames are all still very worth reading and have, in many respects, not been superceded. There are critical editions of most of these from Oxford or Cambridge and free versons online through Goggle and elsewhere.

For a starter survey of this literature and how it originated see the first ten chapters of Arthur Herman's How The Scots Invented The Modern World.

2thorold
Sep 14, 2009, 6:06am

> For a starter survey of this literature and how it originated see the first ten chapters of Arthur Herman's How The Scots Invented The Modern World.

I wish someone had suggested that six months ago: I made the mistake of reading the rest of Herman's book as well. It becomes so irritatingly silly in the later chapters that it puts you off the whole idea of having anything further to do with Scotland, the Scottish Enlightenment, or indeed people with "Mac" in their names...

3lawecon
Sep 28, 2009, 12:07pm

Yes, I tend to agree. But for the "unenlightened" ;-) the first ten chapters are very informative -well, minus the chapter on architecture.

4vpfluke
Sep 28, 2009, 12:31pm

For non-Scottish British non-fiction, there are the works early in the 18th century of Joseph Addison and Richard Steele. They were essayists for the Spectator and the Tattler.

Then midcentury, there is Samuel Johnson, the lexicographer, and James Boswell, his biographer.

5JamesBoswell
Sep 28, 2009, 3:20pm

James Boswell would be surprised to find himself listed under non-Scottish...

6vpfluke
Sep 29, 2009, 6:17pm

# 5 - You're right -- I had Sam Johnson too much on my mind. And I should know, as I have a Scottish surname myself.

7lawecon
Aug 1, 2010, 12:09am

"fluke" is Scottish?? ;-)

8vpfluke
Aug 2, 2010, 11:57am

Pfluke is German, and my email name is from my wife's surname, rather than mine, Campbell, which is way too common.

9varielle
Nov 10, 2010, 1:22pm

I always thought your user name meant you had accidentally become a vice-president.

10DanMat
Nov 10, 2010, 6:02pm

Among other things, Thomas Salmon wrote Modern History, or the Present State of all Nations. He wasn't Scottish.

http://www.archive.org/details/modernhistoryorp03salm

(this does not show up on the Kindle 3 under any maginification)

http://books.google.com/books?id=xWpIAAAAYAAJ&lpg=PA208&ots=_KZer6WSJQ&a...