The Search for Enlightenment: An Introduction to Eighteenth-century French Writing

Front Cover
Rowman & Littlefield, 1999 - Literary Criticism - 176 pages
0 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified
In this fresh exploration of eighteenth-century French writing, John Leigh celebrates the ideas and hopes that animated its central figures and examines the extent to which authors--and their readers--shouldered heretofore-unknown responsibilities and confronted new doubts. Leigh paints a picture of a tumultuous age that was at once confident and introspective, insouciant and restless. Examining why and how they wrote, Leigh sees eighteenth-century authors as not only subscribing to the potential of reason and promise of progress, but using their creative verve to express frustration and disappointment. Enlightenment, he argues, can be envisioned in many competing ways. The book identifies the key works of political protest, philosophical exploration, and religious enquiry, and at the same time encompasses such diverse forms as the novel, short story, poetry, and drama. Conveying a vivid sense of the energy and genius of the Enlightenment as embodied in its famous and controversial writers--Voltaire, Montesquieu, Diderot, and Rousseau--the author also considers the achievements of influential but unsung authors such as Mabillon, Olympe de Gouges, Chénier, and de Sade.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Selected pages

Contents

The Legacy of the Seventeenth Century
15
In Search of Happiness
28
Philosophical Writings
40
Doubts about Philosophy
54
Thought on Religion
68
Travel Accounts Self and Other
83
Women
104
Theatre
122
Writing in the Revolution
149
Conclusions
158
Glossary
164
Index
173
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1999)

John Leigh is a university assistant lecturer and director of studies in modern languages at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.

Bibliographic information