Beginning from the Roman Empire and leading us to the 19th century, this three-part course will contextualize the shifting balance of power, economic status, and political science throughout the history of France. We’ll also discuss the cultural impact of the creative arts on French national identity. We’ll study trends in architecture, art history, language, and more.
Led by a local expert on French art and culture, this curriculum will take us on deep dive into French history and culture. Designed to inspire curiosity and future travels, participants will come away with the historical context which will allow them to enjoy their in-person experiences in France to the fullest.
For travelers interested in experiencing the beauty of Paris in person, we invite you to explore our available private tours.
For those more comfortable with virtual travel, skip the jetlag and join our conversations about France.
Lecture Two – From the Italian Renaissance to the Rule of Marie Antionette
Behind this artistic revolution, a different country was taking shape. French was established as the only official language throughout the kingdom, the abuses of the Catholic Church led to Protestantism, and a modern state took shape. Successors such as Louis XIV would take French grandeur and refinement to unprecedented heights. Versailles became the stage of their somewhat theatrical glory, where queen Marie-Antoinette would take a leading part in the last episode of this play.
Lecture Three – From the French Revolution to the Industrial Age
On the global stage, the 19th century saw the end of the old feud with neighboring Britain and the rise of conflicts with Germany that would lead to WWI and WWII in later years. We will learn about the rise and fall of several emperors, and contextualize the economic and social turmoil of this era. The industrial revolution brought wealth to a broader population and encouraged urban development at home and colonization overseas. Together we will study several Parisian monuments which have borne witness to these changes.
About Your Expert
After graduating in law and business, Laurent spent the first twenty years of his career managing international sales for an advertising company. But his passion for art and history took over and he eventually passed a master's in Art History and the Art Market, as well as obtaining his official license as a “guide-conférencier”. A Parisian for over 25 years now, he has an in-depth knowledge of the city and its treasures. His objective? Making art and history come to life! He loves strolling around the city and its museums tracking the history and meaning of monuments and artworks alike.
This is a three-part series held weekly and hosted on Zoom. Please check the schedule for the specific dates and times for each lecture.
Your link to enter the Zoom room will be the same for all sessions. It will be sent to the email address used to place your order 30 minutes prior to each lecture's start time.
Though the course is open to participants with no background on this topic, there are suggested readings for further investigation. These will be provided at the course's conclusion.
Each lecture is 60 minutes long with time for a Q&A.
The course is $105 USD for three lectures.
Yes. All registered participants will be sent a recording link within 48 hours of each session's conclusion. This link will be available to be viewed for 30 days.
Are there additional seminars, courses, and in-person experiences being led on the topic of French History?
Yes! Context Experts will be leading several virtual experiences in the coming weeks. Details are available here.
Our Context Tours of France are available to explore here.
This conversation is suitable for all ages.
90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.
This was a great course - especially Lectures 1 and 3. Enthusiastic Knowledgeable presenter who framed the conversation clearly with good visuals and a very generous amount of information.
Excellent. Well framed, clear and interesting.
Within three sessions, Laurent Bonneval presented an outstanding survey of French history covering 1,400 years.
Bonneval’s in-depth scholarship and choice of visuals to illustrate major historical themes are remarkable.
So far ,the synopsis is of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to the Revolution has been succinct ,pithy and highly enjoyable .A great synopsis from an Anglican thoroughly smitten with a love of French history .His highly crafted summaries hit on the highlights without leaving out the profoundly important political decisions that made France the strong country it was during these two time periods . For the first time in my life the Templars and why they threatened the Monarchy was clarified .I compliment Professor Bonneval in organizing these two time periods without leaving out the highlights and emphasizing minutiae that does not add substance to our understanding .I look forward to the third part and a trifecta performance . Thank you
I really enjoyed this class as I've had a smattering of French history but was looking for a simple way to connect all the pieces. This course shows the structure of institutions (monarchy, church, workers) and how they developed after the disintegration of the Roman Empire. I also enjoyed learning about odd historical tidbits like why Friday the 13th is bad luck and how the fleur-de-lis became the symbol of French royalty. I'm looking forward to the next two classes.