Friend's Email: Subject:I have found a book that I think you would enjoy
The Age of Illusion Manners and Morals 1750-1848
The Age of Illusion Manners and Morals 1750-1848 Author:James Laver The "Age of Illusion" was an age of extravagance, brutality, and corruption. While some of the greatest events in history took place - the French and American Revolutions, the Napoleonic Wars, and the early stages of the Industrial Revolution - the society that demanded these changes remained, in many ways, remarkable unaffected by them. In Fr... more »ance the court of Napoleon was as corrupt and debauched as Louis XV's lavish court at Versailles, although the Revolution had supposedly swept away the immoralities of the ancien regime. The excess of the self-indulgent Prince Regent brought notoriety and scorn. But before and after the Revolution, scandals such as the Affair of the Diamond Necklace and the publication of Harriet Wilson's memoirs, which revealed in intimate detail the indiscretions of many of the English aristocracy, caused a sensation throughout Europe. It was a period of unabashed eroticism, and the three great cities of pleasure - Paris, London, and the Venice of Casanova - provided unlimited opportunities for the pursuit of passion.
On the other side of the Atlantic, a new society was emerging. America finally broke with the mother country, rejection the restrictions and excesses of hte Old World, and the irrepressible La Fayette, whose imagination was so inspired by America's struggle for freedom, hastened to join the war.
As the author reveals the contrasts and changes of society he expertly recreates many other aspects of life at the time: the horrors of criminal executions that provided occasions for merrymaking and celebration among all classes of society; the boisterous fairs and pleasure gardens of London; the excesses of food and drink - the poor tried to forget their miseries with gin, the gluttony of the rich knew no bounds - the coffee houses and clubs which encouraged the noble art of conversation and the less than noble art of gambling; the introduction of such sports as golf, fishing, and seabathing.
Sparkling anecdotes and fascinating details fill every page of this extraordinary chronicle, and thirty-two pages of illustrations present us with a vivid picture of the shocking, amusing, unpredictable "Age of Illusion."
James Laver has been a novelist, playwright, and biographer, and is now recognized as one of the world's leading experts on the history of fashion. In addition to many books on fashion, he has written biographies of Nostradamus and James McNeill Whistler, an autobiography, and important studies of the Victorian and Edwardian worlds, including The Age of Optimism: Manners and Morals 1848-1914. He was for many years keeper of the Department of Prints and Drawings at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.« less