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By Richard Flanagan

The amassed brief items of nonfiction from one in all Australia's most sensible novelists. 'And what do you do, Mr Faulkner?' requested Clark Gable after being brought to William Faulkner at a celebration. 'I write,' spoke back Faulkner. 'And what do you do, Mr Gable?' accumulated the following for the 1st time are some of the best of Richard Flanagan's wide-ranging, free-wheeling writings on every thing from directing movie and writing novels to a close to deadly kayak journey; from baking bread to bushfires to paintings to conflict; from Kosovar refugees at the run to Jorge Luis Borges to his celebrated essay at the rape of Tasmania's forests, credited as a key to halting Gunns' billion buck pulp mill. glowing, relocating and continually fabulous, this is often exhilarating studying from one in every of Australia's top writers.

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In its aim to “enliven morality with wit, and to temper wit with morality,” The Spectator adopted a fictional method of presentation through a “Spectator Club,” whose imaginary members extolled the authors’ own ideas about society. These “members” included representatives of commerce, the army, the town (respectively, Sir Andrew Freeport, Captain Sentry, and Will Honeycomb), and of the country gentry (Sir Roger de Coverley). The papers were ostensibly written by Mr. Spectator, an “observer” of the London scene.

However, one of their number, John Wilmot, the earl of Rochester, possessed a wider range and richer talent. Though some of his surviving poetry is in the leastambitious sense occasional work, he also produced writing of great force and authority, including a group of lyrics (for example, “All my past life is mine no more” and “An age in her embraces past”) that, in psychological grasp and limpid deftness of phrasing, are among the finest of the century. He also wrote the harsh and scornfully dismissive Satire Against Reason and Mankind (probably before 1676), in which, as elsewhere in his verse, his libertinism seems philosophical as well as sexual.

The latter was edited by Tobias Smollett. From this period the influence of reviews began to shape literary output, and writers began to acknowledge their importance. MAJOR POLITICAL WRITERS The controversy over who would succeed Queen Anne— resolved, somewhat uneasily, by the Act of Settlement (1701) and the subsequent assumption of the British throne by a foreign-born king—produced a unsettled, vitriolic political environment in England. The union of England and Scotland, forged through the Act of Union of 1707, created the entity known as Great Britain—a new governmental structure that itself created new political and personal identities for the citizens of the joined kingdoms.

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