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Nineteenth-Century France in Motion

Editor(s): Loïc Guyon, Andrew Watts

Book Description

If the eighteenth century was the age of reason and enlightenment, the nineteenth century was undeniably the age of movement. This tumultuous period in French history bore witness to the rise and fall of countless political movements, from revolutions and “coups d’état”, to popular protests and the first workers’ strikes. It was an age of economic movements as France embraced the new world of finance and banking, and underwent its own industrial revolution. Social mobility increased as a dynamic commercial bourgeoisie began to challenge the system of aristocratic privilege that neither the 1789 Revolution nor the Napoleonic Empire had dismantled entirely. The era was one of artistic ferment, as Romanticism gave way to Realism, Naturalism, Impressionism, and Symbolism. Intellectual and philosophical movements, from Liberalism to Saint-Simonianism, sought both to reconcile the country with its past and construct the framework for a progressive, more harmonious future. Through seventeen thematic essays, Aller(s)-Retour(s) seeks to understand nineteenth-century France as a society in perpetual motion. Recognising the instability that is key to the very concept of movement, this volume explores how the intellectual shifts and cross-currents of the nineteenth century responded to, and impacted upon, each other. Finally, it asks why questions of motion and movement dominated this period, as every sphere of French life confronted its own extremes of progress and renewal, stagnancy and regression.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-4764-3
ISBN-10: 1-4438-4764-X
Date of Publication: 01/06/2013
Pages / Size: 295 / A5
Price: £44.99


Loïc Guyon is Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of French Studies at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick. He specialises particularly in nineteenth-century travel literature. He is, and has been since 2008, Secretary of the Society of Dix-Neuviémistes.

Andrew Watts is Lecturer in French Studies at the University of Birmingham and a specialist in nineteenth-century prose fiction, with particular reference to the work of Honoré de Balzac. He served as Conference Organiser for the Society of Dix-Neuviémistes from 2009 to 2011.