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Last week we discussed the rise and fall of Napoleon, the cultural reaction to the Revolution’s excesses, and the general way in which the Revolution reflected dichotomous sides of promise and catastrophe. This week begins a new phase of the course, and a new phase of European history: the post-Revolutionary world from 1815 onwards. As […]

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Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand, the founding figure of French Romantic literature, had a correspondingly stormy life. His family background was tumultuous and even scandalous, his experiences during the Revolution were traumatic, and even his later successes in life were not without emotional turmoil. As you know by now, that all just makes a better Romantic writer. […]

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This week we round off the opening section of the course, keeping a foot firmly in the transition from 18th to 19th century but looking toward the future as the effects of the French Revolution move forward. For the final ingredient of this delicious introductory stew, we’re going to look this week at art, poetry, […]

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As we begin, I wanted to post some further organizational thoughts. For starters, here are some links to the materials mentioned as possible textbooks. All of them are very high quality yet also very readable, and would give you a big-picture framework for understanding our specific weekly themes. We do not prefer to use a […]

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