STUDIES IN CULTURAL HISTORY
Cover: France, Fin de Siècle, from Harvard University PressCover: France, Fin de Siècle in PAPERBACK

France, Fin de Siècle

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Product Details

PAPERBACK

$34.00 • £27.95 • €30.50

ISBN 9780674318137

Publication Date: 03/15/1988

Academic Trade

308 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

21 halftones, 3 line illustrations

Belknap Press

Studies in Cultural History

World

Eugen Weber has probably done more to enrich the historiography of modern France than any other contemporary American historian. His trademarks are originality and formidable erudition, both much in evidence in his latest book, which will not disappoint his admirers. France, Fin de Siècle offers nothing less than a portrait of an age, viewed not from the perspective of the twentieth century but through the eyes of an inquisitive contemporary tourist, sensitive to surface phenomena… It is a delight to read. This is history as art.—J. F. McMillan, The Times Literary Supplement

History is clearly becoming more fun. In Eugen Weber’s France, Fin de Siècle, statesmen and treaties are set aside in favor of the stuff of everyday existence. We learn about bathing, smells, sanitation, domestic quarrels, underwear, sexuality and the bicycle as they evolved during the last two decades of the nineteenth century… [Weber] is interested in an apparent discrepancy of the fin de siècle. On the one hand, it was famously the age of decadence—moral, material, and social, castigated or else delighted in by the intellectuals and artists… On the other hand, it was a time of real improvement in living standards and greater opportunities for leisure, sport and social progress… The surface that interests Mr. Weber turns up plenty of remarkable material… But perhaps the greatest triumph of Mr. Weber’s approach to history comes in his evocations of the stress and tear of human relations… He also manages to raise anecdotal history to a nearly philosophical level.—Peter Brooks, The New York Times Book Review

The epoch immortalized by Marcel Proust in Remembrance of Things Past has now found a historian equal to the task of capturing its tones and textures. In this engaging and nicely illustrated book, the eminent UCLA historian Eugen Weber shows that history can be fun and instructive at the same time.—Lynn Hunt, The Los Angeles Times Book Review

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