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Home » » Neo-Classical / Augustan Age : Social Background and Literary Trend
Neo-Classical/Augustan Age -The restoration of monarchy in 1660 put an end to puritan authoritarianism. but it could not establish monarchial absolutism. the bloodless revolution of 1688 reaffirmed the power of Parliament  to make and unmake a king. Qmonarchy was permitted, but only as a titular decoration. the enactment of the succession bill(act of settlement) strengthened further the parliamentary hold over English kingship. the conflict between royalty and republicanism gradually subsided in such a context. A sort of stability  prevailed over english life and society and also government.

The growing influence of parliament led to the growth of the parties and the consequent rivalries  between  them. the 18th century, in fact, witnessed a much greater magnitude in the growth of the party spirit. the tories and whigs vied violently whit each other and even indecently occasionally, for power and authority, no more the exclusive domain of the crown.

That growth of the party spirit and consequent party rivalries had its effect on the literary rivalries of the time.different parties had their own supporters and defenders. naturally the party affinities of different literary men resulted in the literary confrontation between them.in such a situation satirical writings grew up prominently and assumed much importance in the literary circle. of course, the age marked the growth of intellectualism. that was, again found strangely but intimately connected with the popularization of coffee as drink.coffee houses grew up and became the resorts of intellectual people and replaced much the court as the meeting place of intellectual and cultured people. another practice quite in vogue at that time was snuff taking. that was particularly a fashion  among aristocratic people, including aristocratic women. london grew gradually as the centre of literary and intellectual pursuits in the country. it became the centre of culture and civilization.the fineness of living was taken as the basic standard of the polite london society

In such an age, literature was bound to be more intellectual the impulsive, more social and critical then personal and romantic. the age was marked with the growth of satirical writing. satire, however, appeared not merely in verse, although verse satirists, dominated the earlier decades of the eighteenth century. in jonathan swift's writings, satire found a vehicle of expression in prose, and became the chief literary vocation of the prose author of the time. intellectualism that was operative in the age also brought about the growth of prose literature in diverse forms. journalistic writings, essay writings, political writings, histories, biographies and other diverse exercise in prose literature enriched the literary activities of the age. against intellectual and social writings, there grew gradually a strong reaction, and that was manifested in two distinct literary expressions. first, there was the rise of the novel in the middle of the century that most popular from of literary art. second, there was the emergence of a group of transitional poets,with the echoes of romanticism. finally, the age marked a trend to classicism to follow classical masters was the avowed aim of the literary men of the age.

Literary Trends of the Age: 
Neo--Classical / Augustan Age  Literary Trend


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