By scrutinizing the major Victorian political thinkers' perceptions and representations of France this book shows how comparisons with the country on the other side of the Channel, its politics, civilization, and the French 'national character' contributed to nineteenth-century Britain's self-definition. While the utterances on France of several other figures are also examined, the main focus is on Walter Bagehot, John Stuart Mill, Matthew Arnold, Lord Acton, Thomas Carlyle, Nassau William Senior, James Fitzjames Stephen, William Rathbone Greg, Thomas Babington Macaulay, John Morley, and Frederic Harrison.

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