The Politics of Appearances: Representations of Dress in Revolutionary France
In the turbulent political and social landscape of Revolutionary France, dress played a major role in defining and displaying new identities. What people wore was, in fact, a vital symbol of their allegiances and beliefs. Drawing on a wide range of documentary and visual sources, this book offers a vivid picture of the highly charged politics of Revolutionary appearances. The author explores the dynamic complexity of the new socio-political world, where the identification of who stood for what was such an urgent, if vexed, issue: where identical items of dress could stand for opposing political ideologies, where a variety of institutions - from local societies to the national assembly - tried to define the meanings associated with clothing, and where the clothes a person wore could seal their fate. Tracing the stories surrounding the liberty cap, the different manifestations of official dress, the tricolore cockade and the sans-culotte provides a new and exciting insight into the complexities and uncertainties that made up life in Revolutionary France and the political culture that it created.