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Aside from the great historical impact of Saint-Simonianism as a political force, influencing a wide spectrum of ideological systems from the positivism of Auguste Comte to the socialism of Fourier and its pioneering role in the women‘s movement in France, the Saint-Simonian “religion” is a truly fascinating chapter in the great book of marvels of the nineteenth century.
Pure mysticism at one moment, with its myth of a woman Messiah come from the East, pure comedy the next, with its aptly named Father Barthelemy Prosper Enfantin at the helm, pure surrealism at others, in its impossible effort to canonize aspects of the Industrial Revolution, it makes spellbinding reading for scholars of all persuasions.
Key works by Claude-Henri de Saint-Simon are included, as are works produced by scholars in “L’Ecole Saint-Simonienne”, such as Emile Barrault, Eugene Rodrigues, Paul-Mathieu Laurent and Gustave d’Eichthal. Later works on “La Religion Saint-Simonienne” include titles by Enfantin, Chalres Beranger, Michel Chevalier, Emile Pereire, A. Freslon, and Claire Demar.
Letters from Saint-Simonians around France are collected, along with poems and songs and contemporary observations of the movement by those outside it, such as Stendhal.