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Progress Past

Paul Langford, 8 November 1990

The Idea of Progress in 18th-Century Britain 
by David Spadafora.
Yale, 464 pp., £22.50, July 1990, 0 300 04671 5
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George III and the Satirists from Hogarth to Byron 
by Vincent Carretta.
Georgia, 389 pp., £38.50, June 1990, 0 8203 1146 4
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... progress but was itself the outcome of that creed. Yet there is nothing naive about this work, for Spadafora is aware of the difficulties of his subject. Notions of progress in the Early Modern world had to be placed in a framework which fitted uneasily with an optimistic outlook. Christian refusal to believe that man was in principle perfectible in his mortal ...

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