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Life in Eighteenth Century England

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CHESTERFIELD Philip Stanhope Earl of - Autograph Letter Signed 1771 giving permission to fish

There's a strange thing about 18th century England. For anyone who had enough money to live in moderate comfort, and especially for those who had the means to live comfortably and participate in "society", it must have been a very pleasant time. Society was polite, witty and full of delicate sentiment.
All of which makes it seem, in retrospect, rather dull.
There were some, of course, who were more interesting, and they were usually rather scandalous. The Prince of Wales, later George IV, was part of this set, along with Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire and Charles James Fox.
Lord Chesterfield belonged to the more reserved part of society, so his fame has suffered over the years. How many can tell me very much - or even anything - about him?
If anyone does come up with anything, it is going to be the Letters to My Son, a compilation of his letters to his son, published by his son's wife, giving advice on how to advance in society. The advice might have been wise at the time, but by the start of the 19th century, it looked rather out of date. One detail is often missed, however. The son in question happened to be illegitimate, and his mother a French governess - but it doesn't appear to have dented Chesterfield's reputation in society.

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