To The Barricades!

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Now that I’ve finished the MA and my ensuing work for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (writing children’s quizzes on the plays for their website) I’m missing the intellectual challenge of a University course. But I’m not signing up for anything else at this stage – having two students in the family already is enough of a financial commitment without me joining their ranks.

So here’s the plan. I’ll devote one morning a week (probably Monday) to some serious study. I’ve decided to tackle the French Revolution, following on nicely from my reading Les Miserables (I really must get around to blogging about that sometime). I want to understand the transition from the Enlightenment to the Romantic era better and this great event and its repercussions seem to be the key.

On the reading list are the following:

Jean-Jaques Rousseau: The Social Contract

Edmund Burke: Reflections on the Revolution in France

Philipp Blom: Wicked Company: Freethinkers and Friendship in Pre-Revolutionary Paris

William Wordsworth: The Prelude

That is probably enough to be going on with but I’m very happy to receive further suggestions, and if anyone philosophically minded wants to join me on the journey, I’d love to have you reading along.

So, I have a brand-new Clairefontaine Notebook at the ready (not just because they’re French, but because I love the way the pen glides over the paper), and I’ll let you all know how I get on

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