Page 3 - History 2020
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8 Dark hearts: future imperfect: Lord Salisbury (Degeneration), Joseph Conrad (Heart

            of Darkness, The Secret Agent), H.G. Wells (futurism), Bram Stoker (Dracula); the case
            of Jack the Ripper
            9 Epilogue: loveable, not likeable: Was Victoria a great queen? Was
            Britain’s 19  century an age of power and glory, or of anxiety?

                                     PART TWO (Spring Term 2021):


            Paradise Regained?
            Last year, we looked at the 18  century, and I called it “Paradise Lost” because all the
            revolutions of the period (1688 to 1832) seem to have been compromised: the

            French Revolution by violence and extremism, the American Revolution by slavery
            and property, the British (1688) by an obsession with stability, and the Industrial
            Revolution by denial and escapism. Underlying them all was the 18  century
            Enlightenment, the intellectual revolution that made it “the Age of Reason”. This too
            ended in disillusion; from around 1800 the Romantic Movement turned its back on
            reason and science in favour of emotion and tradition. This is why I called it Paradise
            Lost. Since September 2020, we’ve continued the story by looking at the Victorians
            and the British 19th century. Rather than a story of “power and glory” we found a

            more complex story of escapism and anxiety. Now it’s time to extend this to the
            wider 19  world of Europe and America.  What happened to the great themes of the
            Enlightenment, such as science and reason, freedom and equality, revolution and
            reform, optimism and progress? Were they lost in the end-of-century backlash? Or
            did they re-emerge in new forms in the 19  century?  Was it a story of Paradise

            Outline of Sessions:
            1 Reason & Science:
            The heart has its reasons: Comte and reason, Eliot and emotion
            The science of genius: Darwin, Spencer, Galton; social Darwinism, eugenics
            2 Optimism and Progress:
            Vienna 1815: Metternich and Mazzini
            Visionaries: Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace

            3 Revolution and Reform:
            Reds: Garibaldi and the Thousand
            Diplomat: Cavour and the unification of Italy
            4 Freedom and Equality:
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