Skip to Main Content

La Belle Époque (1871-1914): Introduction & Classifications

Introduction

Bienvenue à la Belle Époque !

This guide was created to serve both undergraduate and graduate students researching topics related to the Belle Époque in France. Moreover, this guide will specifically aid students in courses that cover late 19th and early 20th century French history, literature, and civilization



- Jean Béraud (1849-1936), Boulevard Poissonnière en Automne

What is La Belle Époque?

The Belle Époque, or Beautiful Age, was a period of French history lasting from approximately 1871-1914, corresponding with the ending of the Franco-Prussian War (1871) and the beginning of World War I (1914). During this relatively peaceful period, many changes occurred in France such as advancements in industrialization, the advent of electricity, and innovations in the arts (i.e., impressionism, art nouveau). However, it is important to remember that while this period may be remembered as beautiful for those in higher socio-economic positions, much of the working class during this era did not see many positive changes and often faced obstructions. The Belle Époque also coincides with the Gilded Age in American History, lasting roughly from the end of the Civil War (1861-1865) until the beginning of the 20th Century. 

Library of Congress Call Numbers

D--World History and History of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Etc.
D394 - 400 (History General, 1871 - Later 19th Century)
D410 - 475 (History General, 20th Century)
DC281 - 326.5 (History of France - Franco-German or Franco-Prussian War, 1870-1871)
DC330 - 354.9 (History of France - Later 19th Century)

P --Language and Literature
PN45 - 57 (Literature General, Theory. Philosophy. Esthetics)

PN80 - 89 (Literature General, Criticism)
PN801 - 820 (Literature General, Romance Literature)
PQ2149 - 2551 (Modern Literature - Individual Authors, 19th Century)
PQ2600 - 2651 (Modern Literature - Individual Authors, 1900-1960)
PQ4675 - 4734 (Individual Authors, 1701-1900)
PQ4800 - 4851 (Individual Authors, 1900-1960)

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Art Nouveau
Europe--Civilization--19th Century 
Europe--Civilization--20th Century
France--Foreign Relations--19th Century 
France--Social Conditions--19th Century 
France--History--19th Century 
France--Social Life and Customs--19th Century 
French Literature--19th Century 
Impressionism (Art)--France 
Literature and Society--France--History--19th Century 
Paris (France)--Intellectual Life--19th Century 
Working Class--France--History--19th Century

Names, Keywords, and Search Terms

Art Nouveau
Belle Époque
Bernhardt, Sarah (1844-1923)
Boulanger, Georges (1837-1891)
Bruant, Aristide (1851-1925)
Colette (1873-1954)
Degas, Edgar (1834-1917)
Dreyfus Affair
Fantastique
Fantômas
Fin de Siècle
Flaubert, Gustave (1821-1880)
France, Anatole (1844-1924)
Franco-Prussian War
French Third Republic (1870-1940)
Goncourt, Edmond de (1822-1896)
Hugo, Victor (1802-1885)
Impressionism
Leroux, Gaston (1868-1927)
Mata Hari (1876-1971)
Maupassant, Guy de (1850-1893)
Monet, Claude (1840-1926)
Naturalism
Post-Impressionism 
Proust, Marcel (1871-1922)
Realism
Renoir, Pierre-Auguste (1841-1919)
Rimbaud, Arthur (1854-1891)
Verlaine, Paul (1844-1896)
Verne, Jules (1828-1905)
Zola, Émile (1840-1902)

Provide Website Feedback
Accessibility Statement