Writing the Revolution : a french woman’s history in letters

Writing-revolution089PARKER Lindsay A.H.

Writing the Revolution : a french woman’s history in letters

Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2013, X-200 p.

ISBN 978-0-1999-3102-6

REV 248

Résumé éditeur :

 Writing the Revolution is the story of a middle-class Parisian woman, Rosalie Julien, who wrote nearly 1,000 familia letters between 1775 and 1810. Rosalie’s son, Marc-Antoine, known in the family as Jules, was closely connected to the Committee of Public Safety  during the Reign of Terror. However, despite being the wife and mother of revolutionary elites, Rosalie led a private life. Connected to the Revolution in verypersonal ways, she was also distanced from the public because of her gender and her proclivity for modesty. Her correspondance allows readers to enter her private world and see the intellectual, emotional, and familial life of a revolutionary in all its complexity.
The prevailing thesis holds that the revolutionary elite constructed the New Regime against women, effectively excluding them from the political sphere. Most existing studies, however, approach the subject through blique sources and mostly male voices. Rosalie Jullien’s ling missives to her husband and son document her relationship to politics as she explained it. Though she never sought a public role, Rosalie developped a political identity that included a revolutionized understanding of womandhood. Writing the Revolution builds on innovative scholarship on the history of the family during the Revolution and demonstrates how the family sphere was revolutionized even in cases where the wife maintained a traditional role.
Julien’s correspondence boasts many values as an artifact of the revolutionary exeprience, of women’s lives, and of epistolary culture. Rosalie demonstrates the individual’s experience within the evolving structures of a modernizing state, family, and gender identity.

Lindsay A.H. Parker teaches at Northern Virginia Community Colleges. She holds a Ph. D. from the University of California, Irvine.

Axe de recherches :

  • Axe 3 : Guerre, Sécurité, (Des)Ordre(s) public(s)

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