Study Guide

Augustans Timeline

How It All Went Down

1702: Anne is crowned Queen of England, Scotland, and (oh, dear) Ireland

Anne's crowning officially marks the beginning of the Augustan age. Watch out: the writers are coming!

1704: Jonathan Swift publishes The Battle of the Books and A Tale of the Tub

Swift bursts onto the literary scene with these seriously witty satires about literature and religion.

1709: Richard Steele founds the periodical The Tatler

The Tatler marks the boom in journalism during the period. This periodical is all the rage in England.

1711: Richard Steele and Joseph Addison found The Spectator

The Spectator, a daily journal, is even more popular than its predecessor The Tatler. Everyone wants to get their hands on a copy.

1711: Alexander Pope publishes An Essay on Criticism

This poem (which is also, weirdly, an essay) gives us the famous line "fools rush in where angels fear to tread."

1712: Alexander Pope publishes The Rape of the Lock

All hell breaks loose when a gentleman steals a lock of hair from a lady in Pope's mock epic.

1714: George I becomes King of England after Queen Anne dies

George I, who comes from the House of Hanover (in modern-day Germany), can't speak English too well. Is it any wonder he wasn't so popular in England?

1719: Daniel Defoe publishes Robinson Crusoe

Defoe's descriptions in this novel (one of the first in the English language) are so realistic that he fools a lot of people into believing the protagonist is a real person.

1726: Jonathan Swift publishes Gulliver's Travels

Swift's adventure story, which begins with Gulliver getting stranded on an island of teeny-tiny people, is full of fantastic happenings—but it's actually a satire on all the nasty stuff going down during Swift's time.

1727: George II becomes King of Britain

Poor George II doesn't have much say in running things. That's because the British Parliament is growing more and more powerful.

1740: Samuel Richardson publishes Pamela; or Virtue Rewarded

Richardson becomes a sensation overnight with his first novel. That's proof that you can write your first novel at 51 years old and still be a success.

1744: Alexander Pope dies

Welp, the bard is dead. And with him the Augustan age is laid to rest.

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