Romantik under romantiken : Föreställning och framställning av kärlek i skönlitteratur och hos den svenska högadeln 1741-1782
Sammanfattning: Romance in the era of romanticism A comparative study of representations and conceptions of love in literature and among the Swedish nobility 1741-1782. The period of investigation chosen for this master’s thesis is often said to be the birth of the romantic era, a time when love supposedly conquered marriage. My aim has been to study both fiction and autobiographical texts, such as diaries and letters, to broaden our understanding of conceptions of love in the period of Romanticism. With hopes to provide a new perspective on historical conceptions of love: how people understood and described it in their everyday lives. The men and women of the nobility are often portrayed as unable to afford love, as it were; too much of their good name and wealth were dependent on marriage alliances and the politics of landed property and inheritance. But they too read the famous novels of their day and were influenced by the changes in culture and society, but to what extent? On the basis of a modern definition of romantic love, I have chosen a number of themes for comparison; independence, gender, class and faith. This study shows that the concept of love imagined and the love experienced differ depending on these themes. Love was an idea as well as an emotion experienced. However, the idea proved elusive in the everyday lives of the men and women studied. The novels are critical towards the nobility’s way of life: love ought to be natural and differences in income or status ought not to stand in the way of love. Love in its purest form was perceived to be a way to God. Two souls in love were considered destined by nature for each other. To love was to live, and to live was to love.
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