The Social History of France 1815-1914

Ref: C2346573

Ever wondered about the historical events depicted in the musical Les Misérables? Or whether there is any truth in films like Moulin Rouge!? This course will provide the background to these fictional accounts. Despite all the revolutions and rebellions, which seemed to be constantly breaking out in the 19th century, and the ignominious defeat in war against Prussia, France managed to produce the first photograph, Impressionism, the first cinema show, the opera Carmen, Art Nouveau – and of course the cancan, a working-class dance for couples that evolved into a cabaret entertainment. We also cover the dramatic reconstruction of Paris designed by Baron Haussmann, the notorious high-class courtesans, and the Dreyfus Affair. Illustrated with paintings, cartoons from satirical magazines, film clips, and musical extracts.

Course aim

To look at some of the main developments affecting the people of France in the period from the Restoration of the monarchy 1814-15 through to the outbreak of the First World War.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Summarise the motivations for Haussmann's redesign of the city of Paris
  • Describe the main reasons for a series of revolutions and rebellions in France in the 19th century.
  • Cite some examples of French art movements in this period.
  • Outline some of the improvements in women's rights in 19th century France.
  • Suggest reasons why Bizet’s opera Carmen failed to please the bourgeois audience when it was first performed.

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

No materials are necessary, apart from perhaps some means of taking notes.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

The Social History of France 1815-1914

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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