Title

National Values and Theatrical Values. The Battle of the Siege de Calais (1765)

Publication Date

2014

Journal

Revue D Histoire du Theatre

Volume

66

Issue

1

First Page

87

Abstract

This article underscores the complex relationship between national concerns and dramatic criticism by interrogating the role of theatre in the creation of a 'national culture' during the last few decades of the Ancien regime. The author focuses more specifically on the forms of patriotism proposed by Pierre-Laurent De Belloy, author of Le Siege de Calais, France's "first tragedy in which the nation is given the pleasure to take an interest in itself," as well as by his adversaries and his allies. The version of patriotism proffered by De Belloy - a 'fatherland' that he defines as both bourgeois and monarchical - renders problematic several aesthetic and political norms in place in 1765. The author thus responds modestly to one of the most essential questions posed by research on eighteenth-century political and cultural history: how did patriotism operate before the French Revolution?

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