Augustan literature

style of British literature

Augustan literature refers to the books belonging to the British literature that were written during the rules of Queen Anne, King George I, and George II. This happened between the first half of the 18th century and the 1740s.

The Distrest Poet, William Hogarth's portrait of a Grub Street poet starving to death and trying to write a new poem to get money. The "hack" (hired) writer was a response to the newly increased demand for reading matter in the Augustan period.

During this time, there was a fast development of the novel and the satire, the change of drama from political satire into melodrama and an evolution toward poetry of personal exploration.

In philosophy, it was an age ruled by empiricism, while in the writings of political economy, it marked the evolution of mercantilism as a formal philosophy, the development of capitalism and the victory of trade.