French History 101 – From the Middle Ages to the Eiffel Tower: A Three Part Course with Laurent Bonneval

French History 101 – From the Middle Ages to the Eiffel Tower: A Three Part Course with Laurent Bonneval


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Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after each event.
Description

Join us as we examine the tumultuous narrative timeline of France’s development from Feudal society to the modern Republic which dominates the global stage today.

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
Lectures

Lecture One – Daily Life during the Middle Ages 
We will discuss the French evolution from the ruins of the Roman Empire into a Monarchy. We will learn how the Francs settled in the former province of Gaule and popularized Christianity. Our expert will explain the nation's urban development patterns and the Gothic Cathedrals that began to dominate the skyline. We will also develop a foundational understanding of feudal society, with its double hierarchy of knights and clerics.

Lecture Two – From the Italian Renaissance to the Rule of Marie Antionette 
During our second conversation together, we will study the impact of the Italian Renaissance on the French nation. We will explore the rebirth of architecture, painting, and sculpture across popular culture – beginning to break away from the Gothic style. Corinthian columns, pilasters, and pediments became the new language of French kings eager to advertise their glory and lifestyle.
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
In our final lecture, we will discuss the French bankruptcy which instigated a Revolution during the late 18th century. During this era, the wealthy class abused their privilege and the nation’s Monarchy came to a dramatic conclusion after 1,300 years. From here, we study a volatile political period–with eight different régimes succeeding each other over 100 years. 
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.

FAQ

How does it work?
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. 

When will I receive the Zoom link?
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.

Is there a reading list in advance?
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.

How long are the lectures?
Each lecture is 60 minutes long with time for a Q&A.

How much is the course?
The course is $105 USD for three lectures.

Is a recording available?
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. 
Audience

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

Duration

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 9 reviews
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(9)
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J
Joanna NYC (New York, US)

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.

J
Joanna NYC (New York, US)

Excellent. Well framed, clear and interesting.

D
Dorothy Fue Wong (Los Angeles, US)
Most Impressive Presentations

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.

J
JuneOReilly (Amagansett, US)
French history in a nutshell

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

T
Trudy H (Oakland, US)
First Class in French History 101

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.

Customer Reviews

Based on 9 reviews
100%
(9)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
J
Joanna NYC (New York, US)

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.

J
Joanna NYC (New York, US)

Excellent. Well framed, clear and interesting.

D
Dorothy Fue Wong (Los Angeles, US)
Most Impressive Presentations

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.

J
JuneOReilly (Amagansett, US)
French history in a nutshell

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

T
Trudy H (Oakland, US)
First Class in French History 101

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.