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The Restoration

The Civil War between Catholics and Puritans ended with the victory of Puritan army under the command of Oliver Cromwell and the King Charles I was executed. Cromwell founded a republic known as "Commonwealth" but puritan rule did not last long: after Cromwell's deth in 1658, a new Parliament decided the return of the monarchy with Charles II (1660-1685), member of Stuart dynasty. The return of the monarchy with the Stuart was called "The Restoration" and was initially welcomed by the people. The first years of Restoration were marked by a tragic event: in 1666, the Great Fire of London destroyed most of the city. The relative tranquillity of Charles' reign ended when his brother, James II (1685-1688) came to the throne. He was catholic and more absolutist than his predecessor so, the population, did a secret plan to call William of Orange, the champions of protestant and husband of James' Protestant daughter, Mary. William landed England on November 1688 with only a small force but with most of the english on his side and and won over James II, then he was crowned King. William's victory is know as the Glorious Revolution because it was bloodless. During his reign important laws were introduced: the Bill of Right (1689), decided that the King wasn't be able to rule the country without Parliament; the Toleration Act introduced the freedom of religion.
Since the time of the Glorious Revolution there had been a development of two parties that would dominate English political life: the Whings, represented the interests of the middle classes, and the Tories, represented the old aristocracy.
In the eighteenth century, during Georg I's reign (german that didn't speak english), a new sister of government, known as Parliamentary monarchy, was introduced. The Whigs were in power for most of the first half of the century and their leader, Sir Robert Walpole was the fist Prime Minister.

The Augustan age (1702-1776)

1702= Queen Anne was crowned
1776= beginning of the Independence American War.

From the first half of the eighteenth century, writers toke inspiration from the Latin poets Virgil, Horace and Ovid who lived under the Emperor Augustus so, the early and the mid-eighteenth century is known as the "Augustan Age".
In this period, also women started to read and to take part at the literary salons, important meeting place where the people used to talk about literature and politics. During Augustan Age was introduced a new genre, the novel (from the italian "novella") and was immediately seen as something revolutionary. The novel relete quite realistic story where, the things that happen, were things that could happen to real people and the protagonists aren't heroes with supernatural powers but people from the middle-class and believed in God. There be different types of novels, indeed Novels can be: realistic (Daniel Defoe "Robinson Crusoe"), utopian (J. Swift "Gulliver's Travels"), epistolary (S. Richardson "Pamela"), picaresque (H. Fielding "Tom Jones"), sentimental and so on...

One of the first writers that tried this new genre was Daniel Defoe in his first novel "Robinson Crusoe" (1717).

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