I am by no means a "days of yore" person, but these criticisms seem correct: if you're primarily interested in high-level reading and writing, the art of conversation, and taking leisure seriously, the golden age was from about 1500 to about 1800, give or take a few decades. Of course, these were highly restricted and there might be other reasons to prefer the present day, but the person complaining in 1880 was no less correct than the person complaining in 1915. Or 1950. Or now.

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