Yet Kronenberger does not ignore the more traditional historical landmarks. Kroenberger treats the characters of the leading political actors: Walpole, Bolingbroke, Burke, Fox, and Pitt, while providing the reader with a sweeping account of the formation of political parties and constitutional shifts of power between the monarchy and parliament. Students of the period who despair at its political complexities will fi nd much to appreciate in Kronenberger's condensed and easy to understand formulations.
As for philosophy, Kronenberger refers to thinkers and ideas as they influence English life; especially Locke and Hume. Their ideas and reputations are explained as part of the character of society. The same is true for economics. More attention is given to the social gains of middle-class shopkeepers and the eighteenth-century zeal for stock speculation than to formal schools of thought. Especially notable is Kronenberger's treatment of both the arts and the artists of the eighteenth century-theatre, opera, music, literature, architecture, and painting.