Non-Fiction Books:

French Historians and Romanticism

Thierry, Guizot, the Saint-Simonians, Quinet, Michelet



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French Historians and Romanticism by Ceri Crossley
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In France history is central to cultural life. The discourse on the past is a vital component of the discourse on society and politics in general. This reflects the impact of the Revolution and its still unresolved consequences. The ensuing French preference for historical modes of explanation needs to be viewed within a broader perspective. Specifically, it needs to be set within a tradition of historical writing which developed in the first half of the nineteenth century. That is what this book does. The Romantic period saw the promotion of history as a grand discourse of legitimation. The French Revolution had already influenced perceptions of the past while at the same time fixing the agenda for modern political culture. The nineteenth century set out to appropriate the past as a way of explaining the emergence of new forms of consciousness and political arrangements. Ceri Crossley examines the ways in which the past was rediscovered, retrieved and represented in post Revolutionary France by Thierry, Quinet and others. He concentrates on the Restoration and July Monarcy. The Romantic historical project is situated in relation to broader debates concerning individual authority, violence, community, and nationhood. French Historians and Romanticism shows how the appeal to the past could be used in order to legitimate a desired future. Nineteenth century history was about to power as well as knowledge.
Release date NZ
July 1st, 1993
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
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