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The Libertine: The Art of Love in Eighteenth-Century France

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Price: $125.00
Member Price: $112.50

Item# 80-022740 

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Description

Edited by Michel Delon, foreword by Marilyn Yalom

That which both sexes then called love was a kind of commerce that they entered into, often without inclination, where convenience was always preferred to sympathy, interest to pleasure, and vice to feeling. Thus did one novelist describe the spirit that pervaded the twilight years of the Ancien Rgime, the heyday of the libertine. Today this word typically evokes the excesses of a Sade or the cruel manipulations of Dangerous Liaisons, but the game of love, as the jaded French aristocracy played it, was most often characterized by a refinement of speech and manner, a taste for nuance over forthright assertion that finds its counterpart in the paintings of Fragonard and the operas of Mozart. The amours of the libertine also colored the intellectual life of the time, figuring into the great debates about natural instinct versus social institutions, and the proper limits of personal freedom.

This sumptuous volume re-creates the milieu of the libertine in all its lively decadence, bringing together more than eighty brief selections from eighteenth-century French literature, grouped into eight broad themesincluding tales of seduction, fantasies of exotic lands, and the discoveries of youthand introduced by an eminent French scholar. These pieces, which encompass fiction, drama, verse, essays, and letters, are the work of nearly sixty writers, some familiar to Anglophone readerssuch as Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, and yes, the Marquis de Sadeand some much less so; indeed, many of the selections are hitherto untranslated. Each excerpt is accompanied by splendid reproductions of period artworks, many rarely seen, by Watteau, Boucher, Fragonard, and numerous others, that echo and heighten the mood of the texts.

Racy, thought-provoking, and a treat for the eyes, The Libertine is the perfect gift for litterateurs, art lovers, rous, and coquettes.

496 pages, 400 full-color illustrations. 9 3/4'' x 12 7/16''. Hardcover, clothbound.

  • 496 pages
  • 400 full-color illustrations
  • 9 3/4'' x 12 7/16''
  • Hardcover

Customer Reviews




Description

Edited by Michel Delon, foreword by Marilyn Yalom

That which both sexes then called love was a kind of commerce that they entered into, often without inclination, where convenience was always preferred to sympathy, interest to pleasure, and vice to feeling. Thus did one novelist describe the spirit that pervaded the twilight years of the Ancien Rgime, the heyday of the libertine. Today this word typically evokes the excesses of a Sade or the cruel manipulations of Dangerous Liaisons, but the game of love, as the jaded French aristocracy played it, was most often characterized by a refinement of speech and manner, a taste for nuance over forthright assertion that finds its counterpart in the paintings of Fragonard and the operas of Mozart. The amours of the libertine also colored the intellectual life of the time, figuring into the great debates about natural instinct versus social institutions, and the proper limits of personal freedom.

This sumptuous volume re-creates the milieu of the libertine in all its lively decadence, bringing together more than eighty brief selections from eighteenth-century French literature, grouped into eight broad themesincluding tales of seduction, fantasies of exotic lands, and the discoveries of youthand introduced by an eminent French scholar. These pieces, which encompass fiction, drama, verse, essays, and letters, are the work of nearly sixty writers, some familiar to Anglophone readerssuch as Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, and yes, the Marquis de Sadeand some much less so; indeed, many of the selections are hitherto untranslated. Each excerpt is accompanied by splendid reproductions of period artworks, many rarely seen, by Watteau, Boucher, Fragonard, and numerous others, that echo and heighten the mood of the texts.

Racy, thought-provoking, and a treat for the eyes, The Libertine is the perfect gift for litterateurs, art lovers, rous, and coquettes.

496 pages, 400 full-color illustrations. 9 3/4'' x 12 7/16''. Hardcover, clothbound.





  • 496 pages
  • 400 full-color illustrations
  • 9 3/4'' x 12 7/16''
  • Hardcover


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