The family on trial in revolutionary France /

In a groundbreaking book that challenges many assumptions about gender and politics in the French Revolution, Suzanne Desan offers an insightful analysis of the ways the Revolution radically redefined the family and its internal dynamics. She shows how revolutionary politics and laws brought about a...

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Main Author: Desan, Suzanne, 1957- (Author)
Format: Book Electronic
Language:English
Published:Berkeley : University of California Press, ©2004.
Series:Studies on the history of society and culture ; 51.
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Online Access:EBSCO eBook Subscription Academic Collection. Access for Greenville College users.
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Review by Choice Review

This detailed volume links changes in the instrumentalities of family between the early French Revolution and the 1804 Napoleonic Civil Code with complex debates and actions that sought to redefine the state, its citizens, and the nature of liberty and social bonds. Individual chapters examine marriage, divorce, inheritance, and transgenerational relations as well as gendered sibling differences, illegitimacy, and paternity. Throughout, Desan (Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison) skillfully weaves together multiple conversations in law and court documents, politics, the press, pamphlets, and ephemeral popular publications with a sensitivity to variations of viewpoint defined not only by gender and interests but also by a variegated and changing France, balancing general themes with ethnohistorical attention to the department of Calvados (Normandy). Through these approaches, the author highlights both contesting voices and historical shifts whose implications, as she shows, reach well beyond the Napoleonic consulate. Copious notes and research materials mean that this volume should spark even more scholarly research and debate about social and political changes in France and comparative studies in Europe as well, and should engage and excite advanced students and scholars in history, sociological discussions, gender, and cultural studies. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All academic collections. G. W. McDonogh Bryn Mawr College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

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