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Decency and Disorder

Ben Wilson

A dazzling new account of the colourful and outrageous period before the Victorians – the age of Jane Austen and Byron.

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Brilliant young historian Ben Wilson explores a time when licentious Britain tried to straighten out its moral code, ridding itself of its boisterous pastimes, plain-speaking and drunkenness – raising uncomfortable but fascinating parallels with our own age. Decency and Disorder is about the generation who grew up during the turmoil of the Napoleonic Wars, and some of its most exciting figures.

Critic Reviews

Wilson's superb narrative sheds light on the perennial English struggle between Puritanism and hedonism.

Mail on Sunday
Critic Reviews

Excellent history... Wilson is a serious analyst of a fascinating era who never indulges in cant himself.

Critic Reviews

This outstanding history explains how the country first went 'respectable'.

Critic Reviews

[A] beautifully written and exhaustively researched study... referring to huge array of material, from quirky cour cases to private journals, [Wilson's] book triumphantly brings to life the moral confusion of a country in transition.

Sunday Times

Ben Wilson was born in1980 and studied history at Pembroke College, Cambridge – both as an undergraduate and postgraduate. His first book, THE LAUGHTER OF TRIUMPH: WILLIAM HONE AND THE FIGHT FOR THE FREE PRESS, was published by Faber in 2005 to universal accalim. This was followed in 2007 by DECENCY AND DISORDER: THE AGE OF CANT 1789-1837.

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