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Rachel Hewitt 'A Revolution of Feeling'

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Blackwell's Bookshop

51 Broad Street

Oxford

OX1 3BQ

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Blackwell's is delighted to welcome to the bookshop bestselling author Rachel Hewitt to discuss her new publication, 'A Revolution of Feeling'.

In the 1790s, Britain underwent what the politician Edmund Burke called 'the most important of all revolutions...a revolution in sentiments'. Inspired by the French Revolution, British radicals concocted new political worlds to enshrine healthier, more productive, human emotions and relationships. The Enlightenment's wildest hopes crested in the utopian projects of such optimists - including the young poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the philosophers William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, the physician Thomas Beddoes and the first photographer Thomas Wedgwood - who sought to reform sex, education, commerce, politics and medicine by freeing desire from repressive constraints. But by the middle of the decade, the wind had changed. The French Revolution descended into bloody Terror and the British government quashed radical political activities. In the space of one decade, feverish optimism gave way to bleak disappointment, and changed the way we think about human need and longing. 'A Revolution of Feeling' is a vivid and absorbing account of the dramatic end of the Enlightenment, the beginning of an emotional landscape preoccupied by guilt, sin, failure, resignation and repression, and the origins of our contemporary approach to feeling and desire.

Rachel Hewitt is the author of the award-winning 'Map of a Nation: A Biography of the Ordnance Survey', which won the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Prize for Non-Fiction in 2008. She has written articles for publications including the Guardian, Telegraph, Financial Times and New Statesman.

Tickets cost £5. For all enquiries please email events.oxford@blackwell.co.uk .

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Blackwell's Bookshop

51 Broad Street

Oxford

OX1 3BQ

United Kingdom

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