The French Revolution is widely known for its contributions in promoting the values of liberty, equality, and fraternity around the world. When we studied world history in school, we were taught about the great impact this event had not only in France, but throughout the world.
However, this history is incomplete since, if we want to talk about the origins of the free world, we must take into account the contributions of the German Enlightenment, which is commonly forgotten. In general, we always talk about Scottish, English and French Enlightenment, and we forget about the contributions of German Enlightenment (as well as Dutch, which we can talk about later).
Despite this, we have great historians who help us eliminate these biases.
This is the case of the historian, Andrea Wulf, who will launch her new book “Magnificent Rebels. The First Romantics and the Invention of the Self” in the fall of 2022, which narrates the German intellectual history of the 18th century and how it was a very important pillar for the construction of the modern world that we have today.
Andrea Wulf is a renowned historian. She was born in India, grew up in Germany and developed professionally in England. She is the winner of more than a dozen awards. Among her most outstanding books are “The Invention of Nature” and “Founding Gardeners”.
Through this book, Wulf describes how the friendship of a group of intellectuals and romantics,
Located in the small German town of Jena, was the prelude to a series of transformations in the world of fine arts and exact and social sciences, which would take place during the 18th century and would be reinforced during the 19th.
This group of intellectuals was made up of poets and playwrights like Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, and Novalis. As well as philosophers like Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Friedrich Schelling, and Friedrich Hegel, literary critics like the Schlegel brothers, and scientists like Alexander von Humboldt. At the heart of this group of friends was the celebrated intellectual, Caroline Schlegel, known for her translations of Shakespeare’s works into German.
According to the official page of Andrea Wulf, this book will be available between September and October of this year in the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. Subsequently, it will be available in France, Portugal, Italy, Turkey and Denmark.
If you are passionate about history, especially 18th century history (like me), I am sure you will love this book… Would you like to read it? You can read more about the book here.