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Benjamin Appert en Grèce : le rêve d'une prison philanthropique

Abstract : Benjamin Appert was a French philanthropist during the Restoration and the reign of Louis-Philippe. He was famous enough for Stendhal to make him a character in his novel Le Rouge et le Noir. The writer describes him as a prison visitor, his principal activity; but he also took an interest in mutual teaching. After this period, he sank into oblivion. The only people who know about him are the specialists of penal and educational issues. His track was lost in 1855 when he left to Greece.At that time, we take over. We will follow him closely, thanks to an exceptional document, the collection of notes he published under the title of Journey in Greece. What did he go to Greece for ? He did not only want to visit prisons, schools, hospitals and barracks, so as to draw up a survey and propose reforms to clean up a country subjected to robbery, but he aimed to achieve a plan he had been nurturing for a long time, the settlement of a model penal colony he tried to establish in Modon (Methoni).Was it a utopia? That is the question which runs all through our research. Of course the answer depends on the meaning of the word. During the first half of the XIXth century, a time brimming with social utopias, could we rank Benjamin Appert on the same level as Saint-Simon or Fourier? That will be our subject. We can already consider his story in Greece as an excellent example of the connections which took place between West and East, heavily loaded with misunderstanding, prejudice and idealism. An example we could meditate over.
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Danielle Bassez. Benjamin Appert en Grèce : le rêve d'une prison philanthropique. Littératures. Université Paul Valéry - Montpellier III; Université ionienne de Corfou (1984-..), 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015MON30041⟩. ⟨tel-01281437⟩

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