“A splendidly pithy and provocative introduction to the culture of Romanticism.”—The Sunday Times “[Tim Blanning is] in a particularly good position to speak of the arrival of Romanticism on the Euorpean scene, and he does so with a verve, a breadth, and an authority that exceed every expectation.”—National Review
From the preeminent historian of Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries comes a superb, concise account of a cultural upheaval that still shapes sensibilities today. A rebellion against the rationality of the Enlightenment, Romanticism was a profound shift in expression that altered the arts and ushered in modernity, even as it championed a return to the intuitive and the primitive. Tim Blanning describes its beginnings in Rousseau’s novel La Nouvelle Héloïse, which placed the artistic creator at the center of aesthetic activity, and reveals how Goethe, Goya, Berlioz, and others began experimenting with themes of artistic madness, the role of sex as a psychological force, and the use of dreamlike imagery. Whether unearthing the origins of “sex appeal” or the celebration of accessible storytelling, The Romantic Revolution is a bold and brilliant introduction to an essential time whose influence would far outlast its age.
“Anyone with an interest in cultural history will revel in the book’s range and insights. Specialists will savor the anecdotes, casual readers will enjoy the introduction to rich and exciting material. Brilliant artistic output during a time of transformative upheaval never gets old, and this book shows us why.”—The Washington Times “It’s a pleasure to read a relatively concise piece of scholarship of so high a caliber, especially expressed as well as in this fine book.”—Library Journal