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Verwood U3A Zoom History Spring 2021

                             STORIES OF HEARTS AND MINDS IN THE 19  CENTURY


            “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

            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
            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
            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
            tradition. How did this debate play out in the 19  century? Could the conflicting
            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
            French Revolution. Had this optimism been recovered in the 19  century, and
            “Paradise Regained”?
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