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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: 24 September 2021

Gallantries

Gallantries

The Literature of Sexual Worldliness under the Restoration

Chapter:
(p.111) 3 Gallantries
Source:
The Amorous Restoration
Author(s):

Andrew J. Counter

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198785996.003.0004

Œuvres galantes, erotic but not sexually explicit works of broadly satirical character, were published, sold, and often set within a very special space: the Palais-Royal in Paris, a sexual and economic enclave in which the lowest rungs of the literary trade rubbed shoulders with rampant prostitution and illegal gambling. This real place generated a significant cultural mythology in which the Palais-Royal became the symbol of an alternative moral universe in which sex was constantly, freely available. The chapter traces the works’ inheritance from eighteenth-century libertinism: a focus on scenes of initiation and education, and a playful, non-procreative conception of sexuality. If the works propose a version of these themes that has been shorn of their aristocratic associations, they also react against the tyranny of bourgeois family values embodied in the liberal political discourse of the age, by celebrating promiscuity and denouncing the monotony of marriage.

Keywords:   J.-P.-R. Cuisin, erotica, Bourbon Restoration, Palais-Royal, marriage, libertinage

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