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Enlightenment Portraits

Translated by Lydia G. Cochrane
Enlightenment Portraits permits us to see direct actors in history, people who took an active part in the collective adventures that put the human being at the center of Western civilizations vision of the world: nobles, priests, functionaries, men of letters, artists, and explorers, also soldiers and women.

The Enlightenment’s leading figures cast their light in an irregular and unequal way: areas and environments in which new ideas penetrated and took effect alternated with shadowy patches. The fundamental structures of society may have remained stable, but new ways of producing, of being, and of appearing made sometimes abrupt headway. Attitudes toward life, birth, love, marriage and sexuality, and death had begun to change.

The twilight of the Enlightenment came at the end of the eighteenth century, part of a sequence of events of which the French Revolutions was simply the paroxysm.

A subtle and complex study of the Enlightenment, this book allows contemporary readers to reflect on how nineteenth- and twentieth-century scholars have constructed their views on eighteenth-century man.

462 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1997

Biography and Letters

History: European History

Table of Contents

Michel Vovelle
1: The Noble
Pierre Serna
2: The Soldier
Jean-Paul Bertaud
3: The Businessman
Louis Bergeron
4: The Man of Letters
Roger Chartier
5: The Man of Science
Vincenzo Ferrone
6: The Artist
Daniel Arasse
7: The Explorer
Marie-Noelle Bourguet
8: The Functionary
Carlo Capra
9: The Priest
Dominique Julia
10: The Woman
Dominique Godineau

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