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The age of improvement


Price: £5.00


By Professor Lord Asa Briggs

The years 1783 to 1867 cut into what are usually thought of as two, contrasting centuries-the age of balance and the age of progress. Professor Briggs shows how, there is an underlying unity in the period. In the background was the new economic power based on the development of a coal and iron technology; in the foreground, the problems posed by its use. From Pitt to Peel, and from Peel to Gladstone, continuities of pre­occupation and outlook can be traced. Although there were features of the past which recalled perpetuated older systems of social and political organisation, it was the "march of events" which fascinated contemporaries or sometimes horrified them. They were divided about the merits of "improvement", but they were at one in admitting that it existed.

This volume is not oncerned with political history alone, although it gives an important place both to political analysis and to political narratives. It relate politics to society and society to eco­nomics; it discusses literary and intellectual reactions to changing circumstances; it examines the influence of religion and science in national life; and it considers Britain's foreign policy and it's place in the world. It ends, says Professor Briggs, not with a full stop,but with a question mark. Could "improvement" be maintained? Could balance and progress continue to be reconciled?

PLEASE NOTE: All the copies have been purchased from high-class antique book dealers and are therefore of good quality. Second hand books are however subject to the usual problems - light foxing and / or lightly stained pages, loose or missing spines and the page edges, etc may not be perfect. Where available the jackets may not be perfect (and we may not have any in stock with a jacket). The pages are always fully secure. The best available copy of the book will always be sent.

Hardback 547 pages