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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.
Wilson's superb narrative sheds light on the perennial English struggle between Puritanism and hedonism.
Excellent history... Wilson is a serious analyst of a fascinating era who never indulges in cant himself.
This outstanding history explains how the country first went 'respectable'.
[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.
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