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A Polite and Commercial People:
The first volume of Sir George Clark's Oxford History of England was published in 1934, and over 50 years that series established itself as a standard reference for hundreds of thousands of readers. The New Oxford History of England, of which this is the first volume, is its successor. In this, the most authoritative, comprehensive general history of England between the accession of George II and the loss of America, Paul Langford merges conflicting images of the 18th century into a coherent picture to reveal the true character of the age. Conventional views of the 18th century emphasize its political stability, aristocratic government, stately manners, and Georgian elegance. But Langford reveals another aspect of the times--a less orderly world of treasonous plots, rioting mobs, and Hogarthian vulgarity. Using the latest research and a wealth of techniques culled from a variety of disciplines, he tells an absorbing tale of remarkable contrasts and changes. An age often seen in static terms is brought to life with all its contradictions and tensions revealed. [via]