Aristocratic Encounters: European Travelers and North American Indians
By: Harry Liebersohn (author)Paperback
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Aristocratic Encounters, first published in 1999, relates how an aristocratic discourse on American Indians took shape in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Titled and educated French and German visitors to North America, mindful of the French Revolution, developed a new belief in their affinity with the warrior elites of Indian societies, whom they viewed as fellow aristocrats. The book includes chapters on major figures, such as Chateaubriand and de Tocqueville, and on lesser, often instructive, travelers. For European historians, the book offers fresh evidence for the creation of a post-Revolutionary 'aristocratic' culture through overseas travel. To the interdisciplinary audience of readers interested in colonial encounters, it opens up a Romantic vision of aristocrats from two worlds struggling to defend their code of valor and honor in an age of democratic politics. Aristocratic Encounters is a contribution to a burgeoning form of historical writing; it moves across national boundaries to ask how Europeans understood cultures vastly different from their own.
Introduction; Part I. From Neoclassicism to Romanticism: France and American Indians 1682-1815; 1. Indians in the French Enlightenment; 2. Chateaubriand and the fiction of Native Aristocrats; Part II. Ending a Tradition: The French Romantic Travelers, 1815-48; 3. Critics and nostalgics; 4. Tocqueville and the sociology of native aristocrats; Part III. Founding a Tradition: The German Romantic Travelers: 5. Immigrants and educated observers; 6. Maximilian and the ethnography of Native Aristocrats; Epilogue: a world of new aristocrats.
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- ID: 9780521003605
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