Child of the Enlightenment: Revolutionary Europe Reflected by Rudolf Dekker

By Rudolf Dekker

A diary saved by means of a boy within the 1790s sheds new gentle at the upward push of autobiographical writing within the nineteenth century and sketches a breathtaking view of Europe within the Age of Enlightenment.
The French Revolution and the Batavian Revolution within the Netherlands give you the backdrop to this examine, which levels from altering perceptions of time, area and nature to the concept of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and its impact on such far-flung fields as schooling, panorama gardening and politics. The e-book describes the excessive expectancies humans had of technology and drugs, and their unhappiness on the failure of those new branches of studying to treatment the realm of its ills. booklet jacket.

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Additional info for Child of the Enlightenment: Revolutionary Europe Reflected in a Boyhood Diary (Egodocuments and History Series)

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When Otto was growing up, the first experiments in arousing this feeling of nostalgia were being carried out, and it is no coincidence that attempts were being made to evoke a childhood idyll for adults by means of subtly composed gardens containing reflecting ponds, meandering brooks, hidden huts, Chinese pagodas, poplar-fringed isles of the dead, picturesque farmhouses, Swiss bridges and waterfalls. The De Ruit accounts reveal that when Otto’s father returned from France – where he had marvelled at such gardens – he decided to turn his country estate into just such a romantic paradise.

The countryside is ‘so gentle and lovely that one’s soul is filled with nothing but tender feelings’. ’ The high point was the rustic hamlet that had been built several years earlier. ‘The hamlet’, Lambert wrote, ‘consists outwardly of barns on a grassy field with numerous paths and randomly planted flowers and shrubs. These barns are furnished as rustic salons, each serving a special purpose, one for dancing, another for billiards, the third a peasant kitchen, the fourth a dining room, as well as sheds for cattle, rooms for innkeeping and suchlike.

1 Jean-Jacques Rousseau was good at writing opening lines, and this one from Emile ou de l’éducation (Emile, or On Education) is one of his best. This single sentence encapsulates the message of the book: less is more. It was a book that readers found confusing, beginning with Rousseau’s publisher, who immediately realised that the work would meet with censure. 2 Was this book a novel or a treatise, many wondered. Rousseau stressed the fictitious and theoretical nature of his book: Emile’s upbringing should be viewed as an unattainable ideal, and the book could best be read as a fanciful vision of the future.

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