A cultural change in the Renaissance freed talented European writers to compose letters rivalling the finest that survived from ancient Rome. This book traces the lives and outlooks of distinguished Britons as revealed in their correspondence. The subjects range from the fierce satirist Jonathan Swift to the long-lived, all-observing Horace Walpole and from the poet and freedom fighter Lord Byron to the tormented but brilliant Jane Carlyle. Accompanying the self-portraits these writers unwittingly create are their many sketches of their contemporaries. Moreover, the views they express on forms of government, feminism, literature, theology, religious toleration, and other topics serve to relate their lives to the progression from the Age of Reason through the Romantic period to the Victorian era.
This open book is licensed under a Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-SA). You can download From Family to Philosophy ebook for free in PDF format (8.6 MB).
Table of Contents
Cicero and Pliny the Younger
Sir Thomas More
Sir Henry Wotton
Sir Thomas Browne
The Self and the Modern World
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Mary Russell Mitford
Jane Welsh Carlyle
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
What a Literature is Here!
From Family to Philosophy
University of Victoria
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