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Ben Wilson writes of the Regency period that "Well-off Britons were assailed from all side by new needs and wants. [Dr Thomas] Beddoes [a fashionable doctor] wrote that a scream persued one throughout the day : "did you see the papers today ? Have you read the new play - the new poem - the new pamphlet - the last novel?" every day there were must have new inventions advertised in the papers: labour-saving corkscrews, novel candle snuffers, even a hunting razor so that busy gentlemen shaving at full gallop need not miss a second of sport. It was a particularly British habit to lavish money on gadgets for which they had no conceivable need." [Wilson, B. Decency & Disorder: the Age of Cant 1789 - 1837; p25]

 

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