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French Literature Of The 19th Century:
 De Musset

 The Romantic Novelists

 George Sand




 Philosophers And Historians




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The Romantic Novelists

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

The novel, now all but supreme in the literature of the world, is traced by literary historians to the prose romance which originated, with little, if any foreign impulse, in France in the Twelfth Century. It was at first the telling in simpler form for a ruder audience of the poetical romances of chivalry, as in "Amadis of Gaul." In the Seventeenth Century there arose pastoral romances which described the characters and doings of the French court under a disguise borrowed from ancient history. Then there came tales of the adventures of rogues and vagabonds. But the name Novel was applied to the long drawn out tales which depended for their interest on their "sensibility," or proper regulation of the tender feelings of the human heart. With the opening of the Nineteenth Century some of these forms were partly revived. But the French novel, as commonly accepted, came in with the Romanticism, which has been viewed in its poetical and dramatic aspects. Previous stories had no marked power or length and no special design. The invention of the French novel destined to live and exert influence is ascribed to George Sand, Hugo, Dumas, and Balzac. Their methods and ideals differed materially, but together their efforts made a new species of literature.

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