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Jean Racine, Echoes Across Europe

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John Sayer

Rich with examples of Racine’s impact across generations on stage and page, of the inspiration of leading actors across borders, and of the influence of his tragedies, their mostly classical and biblical themes brought in the finest verse or in translation, on European courts, townships, amateur theatre, education at home and school, opera and oratorio, other literatures, art and sculpture, this book follows these many echoes far beyond performances in Paris and at Versailles alone and opens up vistas for further exploration across cultural and political borders. The promotion of Racine’s mastery to champion or to challenge successive regimes at home, or to assert French cultural supremacy abroad, and the sheer volume of translations, musical adaptations and borrowings of each play across Europe, are brought together for the first time, offering a fresh perspective not just of reception but of dissemination and active response.

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