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School of English and Drama

Andrew Lincoln, 'Civil Society Goes to War: an eighteenth-century conundrum'

14 May 2014

Time: 6:00pm
Venue: ArtsTwo Lecture Theatre

What effect does war have upon public opinion? Can civilians influence – or even know – what happens in a war zone? How can ideas of justice and humanity be applied to deadly conflicts in which national interest is at stake? Such questions began to assume a new importance in eighteenth-century Britain, where the development of civil society coincided with massively increased investment in war. This lecture will consider the problems encountered by two writers, David Hume and Adam Smith, as they attempted to reconcile the new conditions of war with their ideas of progress. 

Andrew Lincoln was a member of the English Department at Westfield College before arriving at Queen Mary in 1992. His teaching ranges through the long eighteenth century to the modern period. He is internationally renowned as a scholar of William Blake, and is a leading contributor to the ongoing critical rehabilitation of Walter Scott. His interest in these writers led him to his current research project, which examines how eighteenth-century writing on war is shaped by, and influences, debates about the nature and values of civil society.

A drinks reception will follow the lecture.

This event is free to attend, but you must book tickets online in advance. Please visit:

If you have any questions regarding this event please contact Beverley Stewart, email: or tel: 020 7882 8559.

Download a flyer about the event [PDF 1,878KB].

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