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Uncivil Mirth – Ridicule in Enlightenment Britain - Princeton Scholarship Online
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Uncivil Mirth: Ridicule in Enlightenment Britain

Ross Carroll


The relaxing of censorship in Britain at the turn of the eighteenth-century led to an explosion of satires, caricatures, and comic hoaxes. This new vogue for ridicule unleashed moral panic and prompted warnings that it would corrupt public debate. But ridicule also had vocal defenders who saw it as a means to expose hypocrisy, unsettle the arrogant, and deflate the powerful. This book examines how leading thinkers of the period searched for a humane form of ridicule, one that served the causes of religious toleration, the abolition of the slave trade, and the dismantling of patriarchal power. ... More

Keywords: eighteenth-century Britain, religious toleration, abolition, political justice, ridicule, satire, caricature, hypocrisy, patriarchal power, intolerance

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780691182551
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2021 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691182551.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ross Carroll, author
University of Exeter