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Magnificent Rebels by Andrea Wulf
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Magnificent Rebels

Best Seller
Magnificent Rebels by Andrea Wulf
Hardcover $35.00
Sep 13, 2022 | ISBN 9780525657118

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  • Sep 13, 2022 | ISBN 9780525657118

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Praise

“A spirited re-creation of the world of the German founders of the post-Enlightenment movement. . . . An illuminating exploration of the life of the mind and the sometimes-fraught production of art.”
—Kirkus Reviews *starred*

“An engrossing group biography of the late-18th-century German intellectuals whose ‘obsession with the free self’ initiated the Romantic movement and led to the modern conception of self-determination. . . . [Wulf] explains heady philosophical concepts in clear prose. . . . The result is a colorful and page-turning intellectual history.”
—Publishers Weekly

“The Jena Set was a late-eighteenth-century group of philosophers, artists, and thinkers so earthquakingly brilliant that we feel the tremors their ideas set off under our feet today. Nobody but Andrea Wulf, with her exquisite grasp of ideas and personalities, with her meticulous, sensitive, and acutely observed prose, could make the reader feel as if they were in the room with the great personalities of the age, bearing witness to their insights and their vanities and rages. Her storytelling had me immediately in her thrall.”
—Lauren Groff, New York Times best-selling author of Matrix

Magnificent Rebels thrums with all the redhot frenzy, wild passion, and radical ideas of a free new world created out of poetry, sex, music, and romanticism! Wulf’s superb group biography of the German Romantics is elegantly written, deeply researched, and totally gripping.” 
—Simon Sebag Montefiore, New York Times best-selling author of The Romanovs

“Truly extraordinary … An intellectual history, group portrait, and elegy to Romanticism, which at points reads like a prizewinning novel. You feel you’re there in turn-of-the-nineteenth-century Germany, experiencing the debates, disputations, and deep emotional interconnections between the most profound philosophers and greatest writers of the era as they grapple with the birth of the modern.”
—Andrew Roberts, New York Times best-selling author of Napoleon: A Life

“A magnificent book, fascinating in its focus and breathtaking in its scope and sweep. . . . Magnificent Rebels is a work of formidable scholarship worn lightly; of complex intellectual history told evocatively, absorbingly, compellingly. Wulf’s superb prose draws us deeply into the lives and minds of this remarkable circle of people, who together explored the breathtaking possibilities — and tremendous risks — of free will, individual creativity and liberty.”
—Robert Macfarlane, New York Times best-selling author of Underland

“Andrea Wulf is that rare historian who makes the past feel present and turns distant lives into gripping stories of the human heart. Without doubt, Magnificent Rebels is the best book I’ve read all year. It is an absolute masterpiece: mesmerizing, heartbreaking and incredibly timely, it is an important reminder that the desire to be true to oneself transcends time and borders.”
—Amanda Foreman, New York Times best-selling author of A World on Fire

“After her triumphant open-air biography of the explorer Alexander Humboldt who traversed half the globe, Andrea Wulf brings that same passionate gaze to bear upon a single, tiny, late-eighteenth-century university town in Germany. The result is a big, thrilling and constantly surprising book – an extraordinarily intimate and down to earth group biography. Wulf’s astonishingly vivid and bustling narrative, moves swiftly from lecture halls and libraries to kitchens and bedrooms, producing an amazing polyphony of youthful ideas and impassioned voices. . . . Brilliantly orchestrating a mass of original letters, diaries, and archival documents, Wulf revives a whole world of intense friendships, shifting intellectual alliances, furious philosophical arguments, inspirational suppers (including the cooking), theatrical first nights, seductive carriage journeys, hypnotic candlelit lectures and, of course, non-stop love affairs and betrayals (including the ecstatic love-making and equally ecstatic rows) … It is a glorious piece of work, both thought-provoking and magical, and I loved it.” —Richard Holmes, New York Times best-selling author of The Age of Wonder

Magnificent Rebels is a beautiful group biography, celebrating the lives and loves of Germany’s most brilliant minds: Goethe, Schiller, Fichte, Novalis, Schlegel, Schelling and Hegel. At the centre of their group in the small university town of Jena was a free-spirited, thrice married, single-mother named Caroline Michaelis-Böhmer-Schlegel-Schelling. She carried her father’s and husbands’ names but her life was entirely her own. Caroline is Andrea Wulf’s soulmate. This is a perfect pairing of author and subject – a joyful, life-affirming, freedom-loving tour de force.” 
—Ruth Scurr, author of Napoleon: A Life Told in Gardens and Shadows

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