A History of a Declining Art

368pp 2007 LIST PRICE: £27.00 (P) E301



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Miller chronicles the art of conversation in Western civilisation from its beginnings in ancient Greece, through its apex in eighteenth-century Britain to its present endangered state. He reveals why good conversation matters and explores the conversation about conversation among great writers such as Cicero, Montaigne, Swift, Defoe, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and Virginia Woolf. Ultimately, Miller cites technology, our insistence on unguarded forthrightness and our fear of being judgemental as powerful forces likely to diminish the art of conversation.

This book is important in alerting us to the value of a kind of exchange too often dismissed as ‘having a chat’. THE TIMES