When the French architect, theorist, and ardent medievalist Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc taught at the Parisian École des Beaux-Arts, he was met by the sneers of students, a reception that ultimately led him to resign after his seventh lecture on 18 March 1864. Scarcely four months earlier, he had been appointed to the newly minted chair of art history and aesthetics at France's stronghold of academic tradition. He had already published most of the volumes of his influential Dictionnaire raisonné de l'architecture française du XIe au XVIe siècle (Dictionary of French Architecture from the Eleventh to the Sixteen Century) and Entretiens sur l'architecture (Lectures on...

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