It is something of a truism that each age must work through the legacy of its predecessors. In the case of the nineteenth century, this obvious statement gains poignancy when one considers the novel challenges and possibilities of the eighteenth century, which was, after all, the age of the Enlightenment. In its many guises and national variations, the Enlightenment asserted provocative and epoch-making claims about the role of reason, science, and criticism vis-à-vis the traditional authority of religion, state, and received knowledge. It drew new roadmaps for the conscious and reflexive reform of society and the betterment of people. At its core, it articulated a new emancipatory project – at once philosophical and political – chiefly oriented toward the ideal of individual autonomy. The cultural, social, and political configuration that shaped the Enlightenment came to something of an end in the closing decade of the eighteenth century, partly through processes of internal critique but also, spectacularly, through the political collapse of the Old Regime. In the changed circumstances of the early nineteenth century, the Enlightenment fragmented into a multitude of contests over the meaning of its legacy. What is the status of reason, and what is its proper relationship to other modes of knowledge? What of religion? What is the key discipline or cultural form that will, depending on one’s perspective and priority, advance, hinder, or deepen the impulses of enlightenment? What are the promises and perils of the project of emancipation, and how might it be continued, radicalized, or restrained? Are there limits to the pursuit of individual autonomy? What is the proper relation between the past and the future, tradition and innovation? None of these questions admitted definitive answers, but they fueled creative efforts, debate, and conflict across a great range of intellectual and cultural pursuits.