An important contribution to studies of cultural politics in the... eighteenth century and is sure to become required reading.
A Field of Honor: Writers, Court Culture, and Public Theater in French Literary Life from Racine to the Revolutionby Gregory Brown
Gregory S. Brown's A Field of Honor: The Identities of Writers, Court Culture and Public Theater in the French Intellectual Field from Racine to the Revolution offers a multilevel study of the intellectual, social, and institutional contexts of dramatic authorship and the world of playwrights in 18th-century Paris. Brown deftly interweaves research in/i>
Gregory S. Brown's A Field of Honor: The Identities of Writers, Court Culture and Public Theater in the French Intellectual Field from Racine to the Revolution offers a multilevel study of the intellectual, social, and institutional contexts of dramatic authorship and the world of playwrights in 18th-century Paris. Brown deftly interweaves research in archival and printed materials, case studies of individual authorial strategies, the rich, often contentious historiography on the French Enlightenment and contemporary cultural theory and criticism. Drawing on a sophisticated array of recent studies, Brown positions his work against and between the grain of alternative approaches and interpretations. He combines scholarship on the history of the book with analyses of political culture and cultural identity, leaving the reader with a strong and revealing appreciation for the tensions and crosscurrents staged at the center of the 18th-century "republic of letters."
Brown's book provides a fascinating analysis of the world of dramatic authors during the Old Regime....Effectively challenges aspects of historians'current understanding of the political culture of Old Regime France while providing new interpretations of dramatic writers and their relationship with that culture.... And its overall quality is certainly equal to that of the best historical monographs published in the traditional manner.
How giants like Voltaire and Beaumarchais managed to beat the system, turn it to their advantage, and, in the case of Beaumarchais, make the Comédie work more in the interests of the profession. But Brown does not neglect the authors whom the system beat... An exceptional contribution to theater and cultural history.
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A strong and revealing appreciation for the tensions and crosscurrents.
Meet the Author
Gregory Brown is an assistant professor of history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He received a doctorate in European History from Columbia University (1997); he has previously been a post-doctoral research associate at the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University and a fellow at the Reid Hall Institute for Scholars in Paris. In addition to his forthcoming Gutenberg-e book, he is also completing a monograph on Beaumarchais and the Society of Dramatic Authors to be published by Ashgate.
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