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Chateaubriand's Voyage en Italie, describes his Italian travels in the years 1803-4, during the first of his visits to the country. From France he crossed the Alps to Rome and its environs, from which he subsequently travelled to Naples, where Vesuvius, Baiae, and Pompeii figured amongst the sights he visited. His knowledge of the Classical world informs his wanderings among its ruins, and he enjoys the poetry of the picturesque while reflecting on the grandeur of the past. Rome, for him, represents a meeting of the Classical and Christian worlds, magnificent but in many ways a hollow tribute to human vanity, a theme he will revisit in his later travels to Greece, the Levant and the Holy Land. Naples represents a more picturesque and vibrant Italy. Articulating both cultural quest and voyage for pleasure, Chateaubriand writes of his journey as a 'tourist' rather than a scholar or adventurer, penning the work in the form of letters, derived from his travel notes and designed for his interested friends. Here he mingles personal memories with aesthetic and historical perceptions, against the background in which he is most at home, the European heritage, the works of the great poets, landscape and ruins, allowing him to muse freely on transience, the human voyage, and on beauty, found or created.
|Publisher:||Poetry in Translation|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||2 MB|
About the Author
François-René, Vicomte de Chateaubriand, was born at Saint-Malo in Brittany in 1768. Antipathetic to the French Revolution, he travelled to North America in 1791. Two later works derived from that period, René, and Atala, evidencing the new sensibility, greatly influenced the development of the Romantic Movement in France. On his return to France in 1792 he married, fought for the Bourbon army, was wounded at Thionville, and subsequently lived in exile in England. He returned to France in 1800, and it was a substantial literary defence of Christianity which attracted Napoleon’s notice and led to his employment by the Emperor at Rome and in Switzerland. Ultimately however Napoleon’s actions led to Chateaubriand’s resignation in 1804, after the execution of the Duc d’Enghien. He travelled widely from 1806, in Europe and the Middle East, and highly critical of Napoleon followed the King into exile in 1815 in Ghent during the Hundred Days. Raised to the peerage at the Restoration, he entered into a complex relationship with the monarchy which led to him supporting the future Charles X. He subsequently served as ambassador to Prussia and the United Kingdom, and was Minister of Foreign affairs from 1822 to 1824.