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British Writers and Paris 1830–1875$
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Elisabeth Jay

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199655243

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199655243.001.0001

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Sensational Paris

Sensational Paris

(p.75) 5 Sensational Paris
British Writers and Paris 1830–1875

Elisabeth Jay

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the fresh sensory stimuli, simultaneously savoured and distrusted by British visitors to Paris, who, as they mulled over what they had seen, exhibited a complex mixture of aesthetic, emotional and moral responses. The first section considers Paris as a visual experience, by this period available in Britain through various new scopic inventions such as the panorama, whose influence on Dickens’ representation of Paris is discussed. The arrangement of Parisian public spaces for seeing and being seen embraces British writers’ treatment of parks, fêtes and carnivals, the Louvre, expositions universelles, and the theatre. The second section discusses the deathly frissons the British sought out in visiting the sites of the 1789 revolution, the Catacombs and the Morgue.

Keywords:   Catacombs, Dickens, Expositions, Louvre, Morgue, panorama, parks, theatre

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