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By Robert Gildea

Nineteenth-century France was once one of many world's nice cultural beacons, popular for its staggering literature, philosophy, paintings, poetry and know-how. but this used to be additionally a tumultuous century of political anarchy and bloodshed, the place every one iteration of the French Revolution's 'children' could event their very own wars, revolutions and terrors.

From squaddies to monks, from peasants to Communards, from feminists to literary figures resembling Victor Hugo and Honoré de Balzac, Robert Gildea's remarkable new heritage explores each element of those speedily altering instances, and the folk who lived via them.

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Sample text

That kind of movement subverts by its inherent antinomian thrust. 18 The reflexions he appended to his translation of the Gospels stand as Lamennais’s noblest work in that vein: unequivocal, incisive, exigent. What would The´re`se have made of them? She knew and treasured his translation of the Imitatio Christi with other reflexions. A work by Lamennais, that outcast?!? Too bad, she replied equably. The differences between him and her, these dauntless adventurers, are nonetheless marked, not least that Lamennais became programmatic and bitter.

Instead of two props for authority and order, one would be tilted against the other. In effect, La Mennais was expecting the Church to seize a kind of cultural initiative, not by appending itself to modern liberal ideas of democracy and equality but by claiming them for its own. Not first with the idea but its most articulate proponent, he became convinced that Christianity was itself true democracy; it alone recognized the equality of all souls. After the collapse of the 1830 revolt, when revolutionaries realized one king had been substituted for another, this celebration of the people was much to the fore.

Le´onie, in the hazardous position of middle child, was sickly from the start and grew up with severe cases of eczema and neglect. When Ze´lie died, eight-year-old Ce´line vocally elected Marie, seventeen, as her new mother. The´re`se immediately chose Pauline, sixteen, for the same role. 3 Le´onie had to work out her sisters’ strangely enduring blindness toward her. In the motherless home, she was the only one with a room of her own. She alone did not become a Carmelite, choosing instead the spirituality of St.

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