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Representing the French Revolution
Literature, Historiography, and Art
James A. W. Heffernan, ed.

1992 • 304 pp. 16 plates (50 illus.). 6 x 9"
British & European History

$35.00 Paperback, 978-0-87451-586-2

Fourteen essays examine how the French Revolution has been represented in art, literature, and historical narratives from England, France, Germany, and the Caribbean.

Why is the anniversary of the French Revolution celebrated on July 14, the day the Bastille was stormed, rather than on August 26, the day the Declaration of the Rights of Man was signed? Why don’t the French do as the Americans, who see their revolution epitomized by the signing of the Declaration of Independence? “There is surely something to be learned from contemplating the difference between these two ways of representing a revolution,” writes James Heffernan. In this volume, he and 13 other distinguished scholars consider representations of the French Revolution in literature, historical narratives, and art as central to understanding it. Challenging the idea that history is a body of fact separable from fictions wrought by literature and the visual arts, they show that study of a major historical event inevitably leads to study of representation.

Reviews / Endorsements

“I have a seriously supersaturated library on the subject myself but would most certainly want [Representing the French Revolution] for the insight and stimulation it offers . . It is not just another item in the sprawling offerings on cultural history . . . [Representing the French Revolution] deals very specifically with the interest in representation, language, and rhetoric that [is] now at the center of some of the most interesting work being done on the French Revolution . . . [Representing the French Revolution] is the best set of essays on the subject that we have.”—Simon Schama

JAMES A. W. HEFFERNAN is Professor of English at Dartmouth College and author of The Recreation of Landscape: A study of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Constable, and Turner (1984) and Wordsworth’s Theory of Poetry (1969).

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:55:02 -0500