Salons
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  • What is a salon? A salon is a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to increase their knowledge of the participants through conversation. Contemporary public debates in the literary, philosophical and scientific issues occurred in the context of loosely organized salons.Historicalbackground; The historiographyof the salons is far from straightforward, it was an Italian invention of the 16th century, which flourished France throughout the 17th and 18th century. Before the end of 17th century, these gathering were held in the bedroom, treated as more private.
  • Role of woman within the salonsThe striking thing of 1700s salons, is that they are often led by women, who were quite clever at keeping the conversation on a high and serious level. At a time when society was defined and regulated almost completely by men, women could be a powerful influence only in the salon. Women were the center of the life in the salon and carried a very important role as regulators. They can select their guests and decide about the subjects of their meetings. Those subjects can be social, literary, or political. They also had the role as mediator by directing the discussion.A series of brilliant talented women gathered those days most well-known philosophers, writers and scientists to the afternoon or evening calls where it is often also taking readings of new works, written by one of those who attended the salon. Hence this, the salon opened up for perhaps, the first philosophical-political movement in our history that allowed the woman to play a significant role in public discussions.
  • Historians have traditionally focused upon the role of women within the matter of salons. Some historians say that they played a positive role in mainly French society. Some say that the salons involving women, did not play a major part in the history at all. General texts on the Enlightenment, such as Daniel Roche’s “France in the Enlightenment” tend to agree that women’s authority stayed within the salons walls, and no further.However, according to Goodman: “The salonnières” were not social climbers but intelligent, self-educated, and respected women who reshape the salon to their own social, intellectual and educational needs. This further indicates the importance of salons and women overall.Salons facilitated the breaking down of social barriers due to that they included both sexes, yet women often led the meetings.

Transcript

  • 1. A historical phenomenon introduced during the Enlightenment{ ”either to please or to educate.” - Horace
  • 2. Madame d’Épinay Madame de TencinMadame Geoffrin Julie de Lespinasse The role of Woman Jeanne Quinault
  • 3. How did contemporary historians regardthe role of women in salons and Frenchsociety’s...
  • 4. Thanks for yourtime! Thanks! Anna Hedström English B