New Images of the Natural in France: A Study in European Cultural History, 1750-1800

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Overview

The latter half of the eighteenth century saw radical changes in the way nature - both external and human nature - was perceived. It is these new perceptions, these new images of the 'the natural' that this book examines: new appreciations of the 'sublime' wildness of landscape; new revelations by the life sciences of natural creative fecundity; new assertions of the innocence of 'natural man', as illustrated by the noble savage, the contented peasant, the happy family; a new sense of harmony between man and nature, reflected in changing moral, psychological, economic, and religious attitudes. Professor Charlton concentrates on French examples, for in France the contrast between old and new views was particularly vivid; but there are also numerous comparisons with England and other European countries, making this a major study in the cultural history of Europe at an especially crucial time for the formation of many of our modem assumptions about man and nature.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521270908
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/6/1984
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 268
  • Product dimensions: 5.51 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; 1. Contrasts; 2. Pastoral landscapes; 3. Wild sublimity; 4. Sciences of nature; 5. Death and destruction; 6. Transoceanic perspectives; 7. Happy families: the age of innocence; 8. Happy families: the new Eve; 9. Town and country; 10. Unfinished business; Bibliographies; Notes; Index.

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