Lais are short, poetic romances written during the Middle Ages in Western Europe. These stories were written and shared orally among nobility. Click on the image of writing to read an excerpt from the lai entitled Le Fresne. You also see an image of the author, Marie de France. Marie de France (Marie of France) was literate, not uncommon among women of her class, but she was... Read More »
At the conclusion of her trial, the Queen was found guilty and sentenced to death. The newspaper of record, the Moniteur, reports the Queen’s response to the verdict and her execution the next morning with a good deal of sympathy and respect.
In the 1780s, following the fall of the reform–minded Turgot and Necker ministries, traditionalists felt certain that they had seen the last of the crass, pro–commerce ideas that these men and their supporters had promoted. In this pamphlet, Turgot personally is mocked by an author writing as if he were the abbé Terray, who had preceded Turgot as finance minister; the fictional "Terray" takes... Read More »
The French novelist and essayist François–René Chateaubriand (1768–1848) was a royalist who for a time admired Napoleon. Like Burke, he denounced the revolutionary reliance on reason and advocated a return to Christian principles. Although Chateaubriand detested the revolutionaries and their principles, he recognized that the French Revolution required extended commentary. Here he analyzes the... Read More »
Victor Hugo (1802–85) was an ardent republican and defender of the revolutionary legacy who went into exile during the Second Empire (1852–70). He lived long enough to become an icon of the Third Republic. He portrayed the democratic aspects of the Revolution in glowing, indeed somewhat romanticized terms.
Statesman, jurist, historian, scholar, and philosopher Ibn Khaldun was born in Tunis on May 27, 1332. Ibn Khaldun is an exemplary example of product of the Islamic education that children and youth received. He received a traditional early education of Qur'an, jurisprudence, and Arabic grammar. In his early 20s traveled to Fes to complete his education with the eminent scholars of his day. Ibn... Read More »