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Verwood U3A Zoom History Spring 2021


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                             STORIES OF HEARTS AND MINDS IN THE 19  CENTURY

            OUTLINE

            “Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
            Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
            More than cool reason ever comprehends.”

            (Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

            “True love’s gift which God has given
            To man alone beneath the heaven;
            It is the secret sympathy,
            The silver link, the silken tie.”
            (Coleridge, Christabel


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            These sessions will look at aspects of 19  century Europe and America. Modern
            history can be described as an ongoing debate between the Enlightenment and the
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            Romantic Movement. The 18  century Enlightenment was the Age of Reason; it gave
            us key modern ideas: optimism and progress, freedom and equality, revolution and
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            reform, reason and science. The Romantic Movement, from the end of the 18
            century, was a reaction against this; Romanticism re-asserted emotion, faith and
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            tradition. How did this debate play out in the 19  century? Could the conflicting
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            claims of reason and emotion be reconciled? At the end of the 18  century, the
            optimism of the Enlightenment seemed engulfed by the violence and war of the
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            French Revolution. Had this optimism been recovered in the 19  century, and
            “Paradise Regained”?
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