Liberty: The Lives and Times of Six Women in Revolutionary France

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Harper Collins, May 8, 2007 - History - 496 pages

"Woman is born free and lives equal to man in her rights," declared Olympe de Gouges in 1791. Throughout the French Revolution, women, inspired by a longing for liberty and equality, played a vital role in stoking the fervor and idealism of those years. In her compelling history of the Revolution, Lucy Moore paints a vivid portrait of six extraordinary women who risked everything for the chance to exercise their ambition and make their mark on history.

At the heart of Paris's intellectual movement, Germaine de Staël was a figure like no other. Passionate, fiercely intelligent and as consumed by love affairs as she was by politics, she helped write the 1791 Constitution at the salon in which she entertained the great thinkers of the age. At the other end of the social scale, her working-class counterparts patrolled the streets of Paris with pistols in their belts. Théroigne de Méricourt was an unhappy courtesan when she fell in love with revolutionary ideals. Denied a political role because of her sex, she nevertheless campaigned tirelessly until a mob beating left her broken in both mind and body. Later came the glittering merveilleuses, whose glamour, beauty and propensity for revealing outfits propelled them to the top of post-revolutionary society. Exuberant, decadent Thérésia Tallien reportedly helped engineer Robespierre's downfall. In so doing, she and her fellow "sans-chemises" ushered in a new world that combined sexual license with the amorality of the new Republic.

 

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User Review  - arielgm - LibraryThing

The six women of the title are Germaine de Staël, Théroigne de Méricourt, Manon Roland, Pauline Léon, Juliette Récamier and Thérésia de Fontenay. Moore introduces these women as representative of ... Read full review

Liberty: the lives and times of six women in revolutionary France

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Informed lay readers will welcome this engrossing and highly readable study of six women-Germaine de Sta�l, Pauline L�on, Th�roigne de M�ricourt, Thï ... Read full review

Contents

Germaine de Stael
1
Pauline Leon
27
Theroigne de Mericourt
45
Theresia de Fontenay
65
Manon Roland
83
Theroigne de Mericourt
109
Germaine de Stael
135
Manon Roland
155
Pauline Leon
223
Manon Roland AugustNovember 1793
241
Theresia Cabarrus Fontenay
261
Theresia Cabarrus Fontenay
283
Theresia Tallien
303
Germaine de Stael
327
Juliette Recamier April 1797April 1811
355
FEMMES
383

Juliette Recamier FebruaryApril 1793
179
Pauline Leon MayAugust 1793
187
Manon Roland
207
bibliography
417
words and phrases
437
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About the author (2007)

Lucy Moore was born in 1970 and educated in Britain and the United States before reading history at Edinburgh University. She is the author of several books, including the critically acclaimed Maharanis. She lives in London.

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