The Frankenstein of 1790 and Other Lost Chapters from Revolutionary France

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University of Chicago Press, Sep 27, 2012 - History - 317 pages
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The French Revolution brings to mind violent mobs, the guillotine, and Madame Defarge, but it was also a publishing revolution: more than 1,200 novels were published between 1789 and 1804, when Napoleon declared the Revolution at an end. In this book, Julia V. Douthwaite explores how the works within this enormous corpus announced the new shapes of literature to come and reveals that vestiges of these stories can be found in novels by the likes of Mary Shelley, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Honoré de Balzac, Charles Dickens, Gustave Flaubert, and L. Frank Baum.   Deploying political history, archival research, and textual analysis with eye-opening results, Douthwaite focuses on five major events between 1789 and 1794—first in newspapers, then in fiction—and shows how the symbolic stories generated by Louis XVI, Robespierre, the market women who stormed Versailles, and others were transformed into new tales with ongoing appeal. She uncovers a 1790 story of an automaton-builder named Frankénsteïn, links Baum to the suffrage campaign going back to 1789, and discovers a royalist anthem’s power to undo Balzac’s Père Goriot. Bringing to light the missing links between the ancien régime and modernity, The Frankenstein of 1790 and Other Lost Chapters from Revolutionary France is an ambitious account of a remarkable politico-literary moment and its aftermath.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Womens March on Versailles
17
2 The Frankenstein of the French Revolution
59
3 The Once and Only Pitiful King
98
4 How Literature Ended the Terror
153
In Guise of a Conclusion
228
On the Republican Calendar and Dates
239
Abbreviations
241
Notes
243
Bibliography
279
Index
305
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Julia V. Douthwaite is professor of French at the University of Notre Dame. She is the author of Exotic Women: Literary Heroines and Cultural Strategies in Ancien Régime France and The Wild Girl, Natural Man, and the Monster: Dangerous Experiments in the Age of Enlightenment, the latter published by the University of Chicago Press.

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