Jacke takes a look at the astonishing life and writings of the ultimate enfant terrible of poetry, Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud (1854-91), Symbolist poet, literary bad boy, and eventual mercenary arms dealer, who gave up literature by the age of 21 but whose brilliant work continues to fascinate and inspire.
Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) was born into the anonymity of slavery and died as the most famous African American of the nineteenth century. After a harrowing escape to freedom in 1838, he devoted the rest of his life to issues of justice and equality, applying his talents as an orator, journalist, autobiographer, fiction writer, publisher, government appointee, advocate, and intellectual to help transform a country from its origins as a slaveholding nation, to one ravaged by Civil War, to a collection of former enemies trying to find reconciliation, forgiveness, and a path to a brighter future.
George Sand wrote an astonishing number of novels and plays, and had friendships and affairs with an astonishing range of men and women. She dressed in men’s clothing, and she inspired a host of 19th century authors and artists, including Russian writers like Turgenev and Dostoevsky and British writers like Mary Ann Evans, who adopted the name George, as in George Eliot, out of tribute to her French predecessor. In this episode of the History of Literature, we travel to 19th Century France, for a look at the life and works of the inimitable and indefatigable George Sand.
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