almost endless creations

Category: Class | Type: Historical | Title: Persuasion (in Context) | Author: Jane Austen | Ch: Chapter 1

The explosive creation of baronets and knights in the course of the 18th c. sprung from a variety of causes, among them an increase of wealth on the part of manufacturers and bankers, the bitterly fought political battles in which Tories or Whigs held out the prospect of a patent of nobility as a reward for loyalty and service, and artistic achievement during an age when writers, artists, composers, actors, and other artistic geniuses were beginning to be recognized as competing with those on the battlefield and in parliament. Sir Walter would have found contemptible the knighting of someone like Sir Joshua Reynolds, the great portrait painter. But whatever the cause, the "almost endless creations" dilute the value of his own.

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