What did it mean to call someone 'eccentric' in nineteenth-century Paris? And why did breaking with convention arouse such ambivalent responses in middle-class readers, writers, and spectators? From high society to Bohemia and the demi-monde to the madhouse, the scandal of nonconformism provoked anxiety, disgust, and often secret yearning. In a culture preoccupied by the need for order yet simultaneously drawn to the values of freedom and innovation, eccentricity continually tested the boundaries of bourgeois identity, ultimately becoming inseparable from it. This interdisciplinary study charts shifting French perceptions of the anomalous and bizarre from the 1830s to the fin de siecle, focusing on three key issues. First, during the July Monarchy eccentricity was linked to fashion, dandyism, and commodity culture; to many Parisians it epitomized the dangerous seductions of modernity and the growing prestige of the courtesan. Second, in the aftermath of the 1848 Revolution eccentricity wa
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(223mm x 145mm x 20mm)
Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Author Biography - Miranda Gill
Miranda Gill was educated at St John's College and Christ Church, Oxford, and was subsequently a research fellow at Pembroke College, Cambridge. Since 2005 she has been a university lecturer in French at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Jesus College.