Romantic Catholics and the Two Frances
This book focuses on a postrevolutionary generation of French men and women who turned to Catholicism to resolve the dilemma of separating the “wreckage” of the Old Regime and the French Revolution from the “living matter” out of which they might construct their own lives. These romantic Catholics include Maurice de Guérin, Charles de Montalembert, Frédéric Ozanam, Pauline Craven, and Victorine Monniot: they exhibited a generational sensibility that they directed to the project of reimagining their religious faith. This introduction discusses these romantic Catholics' cosmopolitanism as well as their critique of liberalism. It also considers the aesthetic sensibility shared by romantic Catholicism and romanticism and how the romantic Catholic view of France's postrevolutionary path disrupts the narrative of “two Frances” that ordinarily structures discussions of religion in the country.
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