Ben Wilson

Keeping the best of order

The preceding volume in the New Oxford History of England, covering the years 1727-1783, described the people as ‘polite and commercial’. Boyd Hilton does not imbue their sons and daughters with Byronic qualities, as his title might suggest; rather, it expresses the extreme volatility of the period. In the 1820s 60 per cent of the population were no older than 24.

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