I suppose I'm obliged to say that just because I reprint it here doesn't necessarily imply agreement, endorsement, etc.
This passage below is the final paragraph of historian John Brewer's 1997 book, "Pleasures of the Imagination: English Culture in the Eighteenth Century," published by Farrar Straus Giroux. I have taken the liberty of putting one word in italics for emphasis:
In visiting country houses, watching films of Georgian novels and admiring the works of an earlier age in museums, we often engage in a nostalgic reverie (one of the pleasures of our own imaginations) , dwelling on what we believe we have lost as a result of our modern condition. This is perhaps an inevitable consequence of our sense that twentieth century society and culture are radically different from their predecessors, which leads us to emphasize the order, stability and decorum of eighteenth-century England. But, as I have tried to show, contemporaries saw their culture as modern, not traditional, an indication that their society and way of life was changing. It was its dynamism, variety and exuberance -- not its respectability or elegance -- which intoxicated them.