Victor Henri Ducange: a participant in French restoration life and its interpreter
Minor, Lucian Weld
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The Restoration period of French history is characterized by a fundamental dichotomy. Evidences of this found reflection in social relationships, in political life and, distortedly, in literature. France was governed by a monarchy whose main support came from a militant minority of powerful and wealthy men. This oligarchy found no reason to consult, in the making of its decisions, other interests than its own. The ultra royallists who controlled the parliament and influenced the king were indeed opposed by a vociferous minority of the same class who invoked more liberal political ideals. Neither of these groups was in any sense democratic. Within these groups, in actuality, a single oligarchical class, lay money, power and prestige. Literature faithfully reflected the desires and points of view of this group. Scott became immensely popular not only because he was a writer of talent but also because he portrayed in his novels the Christian, feudal and gothic past to which the Restoration government found it advantageous to claim filiation. French Romanticism in its beginn1ngw was encouraged, financed and rewarded by a monarchy anxious to blur the lines dividing the Restoration from the ancien regime. [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University.