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The Rise of the Public in Enlightenment Europe

The Rise of the Public in Enlightenment Europe



Part of New Approaches to European History

  • Date Published: September 2001
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521469692

£ 26.99

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About the Authors
  • James Melton's lucid and accessible 2001 study examines the rise of 'the public' in eighteenth-century Europe. A work of comparative synthesis focusing on England, France and the German-speaking territories, this was the first book-length, critical reassessment of what Habermas termed the 'bourgeois public sphere'. During the Enlightenment the Public assumed a new significance as governments came to recognise the power of public opinion in political life; the expansion of print culture created new reading publics and transformed how and what people read; authors and authorship acquired new status, while the growth of commercialized theatres transferred monopoly over the stage from the court to the audience; salons, coffeehouses, taverns and Masonic lodges fostered new practices of sociability. Spanning a variety of disciplines, this important addition to the New Approaches in European History series will be of great interest to students of social and political history, literary studies, political theory, and the history of women.

    • Lucid and accessible to undergraduate readers
    • Comparative and wide-ranging: deals with England, France and the German-speaking lands
    • Of interest to students of history, literary studies, drama, women's studies and political theory
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Melton's useful new book traces the explosion of public institutions in eighteenth-century England, France and the Germanies … a rousing and touchingly old-fashioned defence of formal representative institutions.' JES

    ' … among the most readable books on Europe's ancien régime to have been published in recent times. Melton is notably thoughtful and deeply considered.' The International History Review

    'The Rise of the Public in Enlightenment Europe is a well-written and coherent synthesis of Habermas' argument in the French, English and German contexts and is grounded in an impressive body of international, mainly Anglo-Saxon scholarship … it will certainly be of vital interest to advanced undergraduate and graduate students …'. Europa

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2001
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521469692
    • length: 300 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.49kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: what is the public sphere? Part I. Politics and the Rise of Public Opinion: The Cases of England and France:
    1. The peculiarities of the English
    2. Opacity and transparency: French political culture in the eighteenth century
    Part II. Readers, Writers and Spectators:
    3. Reading publics: transformations of the literary public sphere
    4. Eighteenth century authorship
    5. From courts to consumers: theatre publics
    Part III. Being Sociable:
    6. Enlightenment salons
    7. Drinking in public: taverns and coffeehouses
    8. Freemasons

  • Author

    James Van Horn Melton, Emory University, Atlanta

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