Wikipedia:Today's featured article/August 10, 2005

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A monograph satirizes "new men" wanting to collect libraries without collecting learning

Augustan literature is a style of English literature whose origins correspond roughly with the reigns of Queen Anne, King George I, and George II. In contemporary critical parlance, it refers to the literature of 1700 up to approximately 1760. It is a literary epoch that featured the rapid development of the novel, an explosion in satire, the mutation of drama from political satire into melodrama, and an evolution toward poetry of personal exploration. The chronological anchors of the era are generally vague, largely since the label's origin in contemporary 18th-century criticism has made it a shorthand designation for a somewhat nebulous age of satire. This new Augustan period exhibited exceptionally bold political writings in all genres, with the satires of the age marked by an arch, ironic pose, full of nuance, and a superficial air of dignified calm that hid sharp criticisms beneath.

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