La découverte des montagnes du Dauphiné au tournant des Lumières (1760-1820)

Abstract : Since Antiquity, the European mountains were dreaded and avoided by travelers who had to go through them inevitably. This is why the Alps are unexplored and not known very well and a lot of legends revealing the inhospitality of these territories still exist. However from the middle of the eighteenth century, erudite people or writers had had a new approach of the mountains. The naturalists were saying that the mountains were a curiosity open-air office, where everything still remains to be discovered, whether it is to identify the productions of the nature or to work out some theories about the earth. At the same time as the erudite movement, authors led by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and some naturalists suggested a new and positive approach, based on the picturesque and the sublime of the alpine landscapes. This new vision found a response in a large educated public, in the context of the turn of enlightenment. It is during this period that the Alps would become sought by the learned traveler, particularly by the traveler of the "Grand Tour", who would make the Alps a decisive step in his journey. Our study will deal with the construction of this new perception, but also with the construction of scientific knowledge and the mountains' exploration. But, the Alps discovery had not been uniform depending on the regions, and this study will present the differences and the singularities of the discovery of Dauphiné's mountains, by the study of some travel books through the Dauphiné, contextualizing them in the general process.
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Master Thesis
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Grégoire Besson. La découverte des montagnes du Dauphiné au tournant des Lumières (1760-1820). Histoire. 2011. ⟨dumas-00610642⟩

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