Main content


Melvyn Bragg discusses politeness, the revolution in manners that transformed the social scene in eighteenth century Britain.  

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the idea of Politeness. A new idea that stalked the land at the start of the eighteenth century in Britain, Politeness soon acquired a philosophy, a literature and even a society devoted to its thrall. It may seem to represent the very opposite now, but at that time, when Queen Anne was on the throne and The Spectator was in the coffee houses, politeness was part of a radical social revolution.How did the idea of politeness challenge the accepted norms of behaviour? How did a notion of how to behave affect the great wealth of eighteenth century culture? With Amanda Vickery, Reader in History at Royal Holloway, University of London; David Wootton, Professor of History at the University of York; John Mullan, Senior Lecturer in English at University College London.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Thu 30 Sep 2004 21:30


  • Thu 30 Sep 2004 09:00
  • Thu 30 Sep 2004 21:30

Featured in...

In Our Time podcasts

In Our Time podcasts

Every episode of In Our Time is available to download.

The In Our Time Listeners' Top 10

The In Our Time Listeners' Top 10

If you’re new to In Our Time, this is a good place to start.

Arts and Ideas podcast

Arts and Ideas podcast

Download the best of Radio 3's Free Thinking programme.