This book has explored the social history of male friendship in Enlightenment France by focusing on the institution of Freemasonry. It has identified two forms of friendship that converged within masonic sociability: ritualized friendship and unritualized friendship. It has discussed Freemasonry's emphasis on ritualized friendship as a relationship grounded in restrained sentimentalism rather than emotional freedom, which complicates the emotional history of eighteenth-century France laid out in the work of William Reddy. By analyzing the various speeches delivered by men in their lodges during the 1770s and the 1780s, the book has also revealed how Freemasonry blended an older, more formalized brand of ritualized friendship with a new culture of sentimentalism or sensibility that became ever more pronounced as the Old Regime drew to a close. Finally, it has examined how the French Revolution profoundly transformed Freemasonry and some of the ways that lodges helped shape the political culture of modern France.
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