The French Revolution of 1789 altered the face of power and the institutions it inhabited in France, and the aftershocks of this seismic change rippled throughout the nineteenth century. With power changing hands between monarchy, empires and republics in quick succession, the nature of power, both personal and political, and institutions, both real and metaphorical, was constantly being redefined, argued over and fought for. This volume provides innovative analyses of nineteenth-century power relations in France across a series of interlinked spheres: artistic, literary, cultural, political, scientific and topographical. Its seventeen chapters trace the direct impact of politics and the shifting power of regimes on the creative arts, and explore power relations in a wide range of contexts including novels, sculpture, painting, education, religion, science, museums and exhibitions across a wide geographical area from Paris to the provinces, southern France and the colonies. The contributors, all experts in their fields, assess the evolving relationship between institutions and power in nineteenth-century France, exploring how the nation debates its past, negotiates its present and, as the foundation of the Third Republic ushers in a period of relative stability, sets about creating its common future.
From Sade at one end of the nineteenth century to Freud at the other, via many French novelists and poets, pleasure and pain become ever more closely entwined. Whereas the inseparability of these themes has hitherto been studied from isolated perspectives, such as psychoanalysis, sadism and sado-masochism, melancholy, or post-structuralist textual
jouissance, the originality of this collaborative volume lies in its exploration of how pleasure and pain function across a broader range of contexts. The essays collected here demonstrate how the complex relationship between pleasure and pain plays a vital role in structuring nineteenth-century thinking in prose fiction (Balzac, Flaubert, Musset, Maupassant, Zola), verse and the memoir as well as socio-cultural studies, medical discourses, aesthetic theory and the visual arts. Featuring an international selection of contributors representing the full range of approaches to scholarship in nineteenth-century French studies – historical, literary, cultural, art historical, philosophical, and sociopolitical – the volume attests to the vitality, coherence and interdisciplinarity of nineteenth-century French studies and will be of interest to a wide cross-section of scholars and students of French literature, society and culture.