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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding read and thoroughly informative, 31 Mar. 2009
This review is from: The Enlightenment (Paperback)
I originally purchased this book in 1984 and have never parted with it. I purchased it off the back of an Open University programme on Bath (presented by top academic, Colin Cunningham) for what became the A204 course on The Enlightenment (Now A207). Rousseau, Kant and Goethe are all here. Mr Hampson is a scholar of exceptional writing and in doing so passes on the font of all knowledge in this volume. Primarily, this book draws together the key philosophical (and scientific) debates and nuances from the period 1760 to 1830. This is the age of the arts (with Roman and Greek Antiquities laid down as the highest standard in all art) and of course, the characters that shaped this period's creativity. This is the age of Rousseau, Reynolds, Herschel, Kant, Goethe, Mozart, et al. This is the age of the Grand Tour and appreciation. It is pre-modernity and modernism but there again it is the industrial and social revolution of Europe. The leaders such as Frederick The Great. This book is a superb signpost to other works on the subject.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening (sic), 1 Sept. 2007
By 
Graham R. Hill (Ilkley) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
I picked up this book as someone in search of a broad introduction to the Enlightenment rather than as an expert and it served that purpose very well. Lucidly written it outlines the chronology, the themes and the characters which together made the 18th century so significant.

Hampson is an entertaining as well as educative writer and, it would seem to me at least, chose to give more time to individuals that he found interesting than their contribution might strictly have made appropriate. I especially liked his inclusion of the bloodthirsty De Maistre, who he describes as having a religion 'more Aztec than Christian'.

I dare say that there have been more recent overviews of the Enlightement written, but this is definitely worth reading. Apart from its scholarly merit some of the author's insights are uncannily prescient - don't forget they were made in the 1960s - and all the more fascinating for that.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I sent this important little book to my step-granddaughter: ..., 23 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: The Enlightenment (Paperback)
I sent this important little book to my step-granddaughter: it's clear that people in the 21st century would do well to see what the "Enlightenment" did for those living it! Since then we might have done so much more culturally, artistically in the UK rather than failing in the arts and humanities so badly.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A207, 20 Oct. 2010
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This review is from: The Enlightenment (Paperback)
nice book read it over the summer before the start of A207 - and it was nice to know some background to the course.
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The Enlightenment
The Enlightenment by Norman Hampson (Paperback - 28 Jun. 1990)
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