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The Cambridge Companion to the French Enlightenment

Part of Cambridge Companions to Literature

Daniel Brewer, Paul Cheney, Charly Coleman, Andrew Curran, Thomas DiPiero, Dan Edelstein, Julie C. Hayes, Antoine Lilti, Jennifer Milam, J. B. Shank, Downing A. Thomas, Stéphane van Damme, Anthony Vidler, Anne Vila, Charles W. J. Withers
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  • Date Published: October 2014
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107626140


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About the Authors
  • The Enlightenment has long been seen as synonymous with the beginnings of modern Western intellectual and political culture. As a set of ideas and a social movement, this historical moment, the 'age of reason' of the seventeenth and eighteenth century, is marked by attempts to place knowledge on new foundations. The Cambridge Companion to the French Enlightenment brings together essays by leading scholars representing disciplines ranging from philosophy, religion and literature, to art, medicine, anthropology and architecture, to analyse the French Enlightenment. Each essay presents a concise view of an important aspect of the French Enlightenment, discussing its defining characteristics, internal dynamics and historical transformations. The Companion discusses the most influential reinterpretations of the Enlightenment that have taken place during the last two decades, reinterpretations that both reflect and have contributed to important re-evaluations of received ideas about the Enlightenment and the early modern period more generally.

    • Organized by discipline, rather than by concept or author, to offer a concise and focused overview of French Enlightenment
    • Chapters written by nationally and internationally recognised experts whose work has contributed to shaping their discipline
    • Employs the recent shift in scholarship towards social and cultural contexts to pose new questions, explore new objects of study and reveal new scholarly methods
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Daniel Brewer, a leading expert on the French Age of Enlightenment, has edited a volume aimed at offering a complete overview and introduction not just to the eighteenth century and its ideas, but also to the historiographical construction of the concept of the Enlightenment … [this book] will be a very useful resource and reference for students, whilst representing for scholars a most welcome synthesis of the debates on the Enlightenment from the 1789 Revolution onwards, as well as a timely update on what the Enlightenment is considered to be today."
    Richard Langer, Forum for Modern Language Studies

    "This stimulating collection of essays examines the French Enlightenment from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives. … for more advanced students this Companion will be an invaluable and irreplaceable guide to the most prominent re-evaluations of the French Enlightenment over the last two decades."
    Nicholas Cronk, French Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107626140
    • length: 265 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • contains: 2 maps
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. The Enlightenment today? Daniel Brewer
    2. Private lives, public space: a new social history of the Enlightenment Antoine Lilti
    3. Anthropology Andrew Curran
    4. Commerce Paul Cheney
    5. Science J. B. Shank
    6. Political thought Dan Edelstein
    7. Sex and gender, feeling and thinking: imagining women as intellectuals Julie Candler Hayes
    8. Religion Charly Coleman
    9. Art and aesthetic theory: claiming Enlightenment as viewers and critics Jennifer Milam
    10. Enlightenment literature Thomas DiPiero
    11. Philosophe/philosopher Stéphane Van Damme
    12. Music Downing A. Thomas
    13. Architecture and the Enlightenment Anthony Vidler
    14. Medicine and the body in the French Enlightenment Anne Vila
    15. Space, geography, and the global French Enlightenment Charles W. J. Withers
    Guide to further reading.

  • Editor

    Daniel Brewer, University of Minnesota
    Daniel Brewer, Department of French and Italian, University of Minnesota, has published widely in the area of eighteenth-century French literature and culture. He is author of The Enlightenment Past: Reconstructing Eighteenth-Century French Thought (Cambridge University Press, 2008) and co-editor of L'esprit créateur, an international journal of French and Francophone literature and culture.


    Daniel Brewer, Paul Cheney, Charly Coleman, Andrew Curran, Thomas DiPiero, Dan Edelstein, Julie C. Hayes, Antoine Lilti, Jennifer Milam, J. B. Shank, Downing A. Thomas, Stéphane van Damme, Anthony Vidler, Anne Vila, Charles W. J. Withers

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