Amateur Musical Societies and Sports Clubs in Provincial France, 1848-1914
Author: Alan Baker, Life Fellow of Emmanuel College Cambridge, Iain Black, Senior Tutor of Clare Hall, Cambridge, and Robin Butlin, Emeritus Professor of Geography and Visiting Research Fellow, University of Leeds
This book explores leisure-related voluntary associations in France during the nineteenth century as practical expressions of the Revolutionary concept of fraternité. Using a mass of unpublished and hitherto unused sources in provincial and national archives, it analyses the history, geography and cultural significance of amateur musical societies and sports clubs in eleven departments of France between 1848 and 1914. Original research is set within the context of published historical studies of sociability in France as a whole. It demonstrates that, although these voluntary associations drew upon and extended the traditional concept of cooperation and community, and the Revolutionary concept of fraternity, they also incorporated the fundamental characteristics of competition and conflict. Although intended to produce social harmony, in practice they reflected the ideological hostilities and cultural tensions that permeated French society in the nineteenth century.