Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Arts Flourished

Here is another interesting excerpt from Edward Gregg’s book Queen Anne –

“Queen Anne’s England enjoyed a growing sense of wealth and power; its colonial system was flourishing and expanding, and the nation was on the verge of becoming one of the great powers of Europe. This sense of wealth and power was accompanied by growing literary and artistic freedom. The lapsing of the Licensing Act in 1695 brought an end to censorship of the press. Grub Street flourished, and in the ensuing years Swift, Defoe, Pope, Addison and Steele were to be the greatest of the notable authors of Queen Anne’s reign. In the arts, Sir Christopher Wren, Grinling Gibbons, Sir John Vanbrugh, and Sir Godfrey Kneller were to make their distinctive contributions to a recognizably English style, while George Frideric Handel was to precede the queen’s Hanoverian heirs into the kingdom. In the sciences, Isaac Newton was the father of modern physics, and was knighted by the queen. The vast palaces of Blenheim, Castle Howard, Chatsworth, and Petworth were being created. A whole style in decorative arts, including furniture and silver, which combined beauty, comfort, and practicality, was to be named after Queen Anne.”