XVIII century is the century of the fall of feudalism in Western Europe forming the great European colonial powers, the addition of the global market. To the forefront of the historical process left England, the most advanced country of the victorious revolution, and France, which was preparing for an epochal revolution 1789-1793 years. In the Catholic — Spain and Italy — feudal remnants were still enough racks, and Germany, with its feudal fragmentation and serfdom was the most backward of Western countries, only to the end of the XVIII century under the effect of the 30s years’ war.
In the culture of the XVIII century had come as the "age of Enlightenment" or "age of Reason". "Enlightenment" — the same designation cultural era as "Ancient", "Medieval" or "Renaissance", that is, this term in the broad sense. Education has created its own special worldview, a particular ideology, based on which a new stage in the arts.
Center of Enlightenment in the XVIII century in Europe was France; it was here observed the powerful movement of writers, educators. It is widely known expression «the French Encyclopaedists» that is, figures of art and literature that sought to comprehensive knowledge. The leader of the French Enlightenment was a writer, philosopher, social activist Voltaire. However, the literature as the process was broader ideas of the Enlightenment, understood as the rationalism, the installation of "dry", practical reason. The most striking writers of the XVIII century in France, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, contrasted to the rational view of the world natural and feeling called to return to the mores of the time when people were not yet corrupted by civilization.
Wecan talk a lot about the history and theory of that time, but we will offer you to start listening to the best world works in the genre “Published before 1800”. Enjoy listening and share your emmotions in comments.