The Culture of the Europeans: From 1800 to the Present by Donald Sassoon - review by Frances Wilson

Frances Wilson

What Earthlings Get Up To

The Culture of the Europeans: From 1800 to the Present

By

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Many years ago, Auberon Waugh passed on a tip. ‘When I’ve not read the book, I always give it a good review.’ It happens that what I have read so far of Donald Sassoon’s The Culture of the Europeans: From 1800 to the Present is very good indeed, but it is nonetheless fair to predict that, based on Waugh’s rule of thumb, its reviews will be going through the roof. 

I still have five of the sixty-two chapters to go: those on ‘Audiences and Performers’ 1800–1830, ‘Music, Composers and Virtuosi’ and ‘The Triumph of the Opera’ 1830–1880, and ‘Comic Strips’ and ‘Live Spectacles’ 1920–1960. It’s not that I didn’t try to finish the book in time; I beat back the

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