Skip to comments.The Book that Caused the French Revolution
Posted on 07/14/2014 6:16:20 PM PDT by matthewrobertolson
In recognition of Bastille Day, I, in this special Monday episode, discuss "the book that caused the French Revolution": Les Liaisons Dangereuses (The Dangerous Liaisons), written by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. The book -- perhaps somewhat unintentionally -- set off pious sentiment against the Ancien Regime, and its influence carries on today.
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I start off the show with a brief primer on Bastille Day and immediately begin a summary of the characters and events in this novel, breaking down its story of lust and love. I then cite some of its distinctively Catholic elements. Next, I just barely touch on the Ancien Regime and the Revolution and I mention the piety of the peasant class in France at the time. Finally, I look at the author's motives and the book's importance today.
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‘twas the zeitgeist. Catherine the Great, the American and French Revolutions...it was when men cast off royalty for elected citizens. To say that this book caused it seems a stretch...but who knows?
French National Anthem - “La Marseillaise” (French/English)
I had a really guilty pleasure in reading that novel — and (tooting my horn here) in its original French. It really captured the spirit of that era. Actually, though, it had an underlying moral voice & sly comment on the decadence of that society.
Cool! You get a gold star! :)