Individualism, Dandyism and the Philosophy of History

Bernard Howells

Legenda (General Series)


1 June 1996  •  240pp

ISBN: 1-900755-01-7 (paperback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85


These essays take Baudelaire seriously as a thinker. Bernard Howells explores the problematics surrounding individualism and history in a number of prose texts, and situates Baudelaire within the broader contexts of nineteenth-century historical, cultural and artistic speculation, represented by Emerson, Carlyle, Joseph de Maistre, Giuseppe Ferrari and Eugène Chevreul.

Bernard Howells is Lecturer in French at King's College, University of London. His interests lie in the history of ideas, particularly in the religious dimension of Romantic literature and its interface with philosophy, science and the visual arts. He has published on nineteenth-century colour-theory, on Pascal, and on Paul Claudel and his sister, the sculptor Camille Claudel.


  • ‘This is Baudelaire as iceberg, in Claude Pichois's term, the writer whose reading lurks like a huge submerged mass... Baudelaireans will be pleased to have these essays in so convenient a form, and graduate students focusing on the nineteenth century will find them both challenging and informing.’ — Rosemary Lloyd, Nineteenth-Century French Studies 30.3-4, 2002, 417-19
  • ‘Le lecteur estimera surtout dans l'oeurage de Howells la richesse et la subtilité de parallèles, surtout avec Emerson et Carlyle, fondés sur des relations de fait et la mise en situation et en perspective de textes de Baudelaire qu'une critique fran°aise parfois étroitement nationale a pu appréhender de manière trop isolée.’ — Claude de Grève, Revue de littérature comparée 3, 1997, 391-3
  • ‘The great advantage of Howells's unflappable approach to Baudelaire's flower-pot philosophising is its corrosive effect on commonplaces of Baudelaire criticism... A valuable contribution to the art of defining a poet's philosophy.’ — Graham Robb, Times Literary Supplement 24 January, 1997
  • ‘Howells has undertaken an admirable close re-reading of Baudelaire's work by paying attention to its allusive intellectual density and to the contexts into which it should be placed.’ — Dudley M. Marchi, Comparatist 22, 1998, 208-9

Bibliography entry:

Howells, Bernard, Baudelaire: Individualism, Dandyism and the Philosophy of History (Legenda, 1996)

First footnote reference: 35 Bernard Howells, Baudelaire: Individualism, Dandyism and the Philosophy of History (Legenda, 1996), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Howells, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Howells, Bernard. 1996. Baudelaire: Individualism, Dandyism and the Philosophy of History (Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Howells 1996: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Howells 1996: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

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