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The World of the Eighteenth Century (for English Majors): Welcome

English majors, and all others, are welcome to use this guide to understand the cultural & historical context in which the literature being read was created.

18th Century Painting

Artist's Daughter at the Harpsichord

Artist’s Daughter at the Harpsicord, by Velasquez (1763-1834).

Image from Art Museum Image Gallery.


Use this guide to get a taste of the world of the 18th century. And all are welcome to use it, not just English majors.

This guide includes materials found in the Reference Collection of the CSS Library (located on the first floor) and includes encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, and other odd & interesting print materials.

I chose the word "taste" deliberately. You might use an architectural dictionary to get a visual image of a Georgian house, or use a literary chronology to find the novels of the late 1700s, or use a subject specific encyclopedia to get a background of the Enlightenment and how it changed the world.

If you are ready for more than a taste, then take advantage of the bibliographies that accompany many of the articles. Use them as a guide to more in-depth works in your area of interest.

If you have questions, please use my contact information in the right-hand column.

Todd White
CSS Reference Librarian

School of Arts & Letters Librarian

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Todd White