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The Amorous RestorationLove, Sex, and Politics in Early Nineteenth-Century France$
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Andrew J. Counter

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198785996

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198785996.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 August 2021

Good Breeding

Good Breeding

Romanticism, Aristocracy, and Reproduction

(p.77) 2 Good Breeding
The Amorous Restoration

Andrew J. Counter

Oxford University Press

Aristocratic sexuality was a matter of competing political representations under the Restoration. While the heroes of early Romantic literature—whose authors were typically monarchists—are often sexually abstinent and thus the last of a doomed aristocratic line, these representations echoed a common anti-monarchist critique of the Restoration: the view that it was retrograde and without future. Liberal satirists adopted the sterile aristocrat as a symbol of this morbidity, yet this association did not go unchallenged. The birth in 1820 of the duc de Bordeaux, the first Bourbon heir in thirty years, spurred a surge of monarchist poetry trumpeting values the liberal opposition claimed as its own: hope, the future, and a model of aristocratic sexuality privileging virtuous fatherhood over virile libertinage. This was a formative moment in the history of what Lee Edelman calls ‘reproductive futurism’, whose earliest forms targeted class identities as much as sexual ones.

Keywords:   Astolphe de Custine, François-René de Chateaubriand, Alphonse de Lamartine, mal du siècle, reproductive futurism, Lee Edelman, duc de Bordeaux

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