Medievalism and manière gothique in Enlightenment France

Volume: 2006:05

Series: SVEC

Volume Editors: Peter Damian-Grint

Series Collaborators: Lise Andries, CNRS, Université de Paris-Sorbonne – Paris IV; Katherine Astbury, University of Warwick; Xavier Bisaro, Université de Rennes II; Maria Colombo Timelli, Università degli Strudi di Milano; Nicholas Cronk, Voltaire Foundation, Oxford; Manuel Couvreur, FNRS / Université libre de Bruxelles; Peter Damian-Grint, Bodleian Library, Oxford; Albert Debrunner, Basel, Switzerland; John Dunkley, University of Aberdeen; Ursula Haskins Gonthier, University of Birmingham; Jenny Graham, University of Plymouth; Elisabeth Lavezzi, Université de Paris III – Sorbonne-Nouvelle; Angus Martin, University of Sydney; Roger Middleton, University of Nottingham; Martin Nadeau, Université du Québec à Montréal; François Pupil, Université de Nancy II; Jean-Paul Sermain, Université de Paris III – Sorbonne-Nouvelle; Philippe Vendrix, CNRS.<br>

Publication Date: 2006

Pages: 429

ISBN: 978-0-7294-0879-0

Price: £75


About

Medievalism -the appropriation of elements of medieval culture – has a long history: every century since the sixteenth has remade the Middle Ages in its own image. But different generations look back to the medieval period for different reasons, and each successive generation finds a different ‘Middle Ages’, a Middle Ages that says more about that generation’s own aspirations and anxieties than it does about the medieval period itself.What does eighteenth-century medievalism tell us about France at the end of the Ancien régime? The cliché is well known: in Enlightenment France, the Middle Ages – those ‘temps grossiers’ dividing Classical times from the Renaissance – were universally despised as a dark age of bigotry and barbarism. But historical clichés are often the result of reading the past backwards. Relegated to the dust-heap of history by Enlightenment intellectuals, the Middle Ages in fact held a remarkable attraction for readers and audiences of the time. This wide-ranging book charts some aspects of the surprisingly broad influence of medievalism on the scholarship and popular culture of eighteenth-century France.

List of illustrations
Peter Damian-Grint, Introduction: Popular medievalism and nostalgia
Angus Martin, ‘Les amours du bon vieux temps’: medieval themes in French prose fiction, 1700-1750
Katherine Astbury, Masculinity and medievalism in the tales of Baculard d’Arnaud
Lise Andries, La Bibliothèque bleue et la redécouverte des romans de chevalerie au dix-huitième siècle
Jean-Paul Sermain, Le conte de fées classique et le Moyen Age (1690-1712)
Maria Colombo Timelli, Les Mémoires d’Olivier de La Marche dans les Mélanges du marquis de Paulmy
Peter Damian-Grint, From Trésor de recherches to Vocabulaire austrasien: Old French dictionaries in France, 1655-1777
Manuel Couvreur, D’Aucassin et Nicolette au Chevalier du soleil: Grétry, Philidor et le roman en romances
John Dunkley, Medieval heroes in Enlightenment disguises: figures from Voltaire and Belloy
Martin Nadeau, ‘Gothic’ kingship on stage in Revolutionary France
Albert M. Debrunner, Citizen Tell: Swiss national hero in eighteenth-century France
François Pupil, L’influence des thèmes médiévaux sur les arts graphiques
Nicholas Cronk, Les ‘Mémoires sur les fabliaux’ de Caylus
Roger Middleton, Chrétien de Troyes at auction: Nicolas-Joseph Foucault and other eighteenth-century collectors
Elisabeth Lavezzi, Le statut du gothique dans le Mémoire sur l’architecture gothique de J. G. Soufflot
Jenny Graham, The ‘manière Gottique’: Jean-Baptiste Descamps and the revival of early Netherlandish art in eighteenth-century France
Ursula Haskins Gonthier, Montesquieu’s De la manière gothique, or Considérations sur les causes de la grandeur des arts et de leur décadence
Xavier Bisaro et Philippe Vendrix, La musique du Moyen Age au siècle des Lumières: érudition et redécouvertes et interprétations
Summaries
List of works cited
Index

Reviews

Medium Aevum

This beautifully produced volume is a mine of information for anyone interested in medievalia in eighteenth-century France.

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