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WORLEY Sharon, Women's Literary Salons and Political Propaganda During the Napoleonic Era: The Cradle of Patriotic Nationalism

<i>© Edwin Mellen Press Ltd</i>

© Edwin Mellen Press Ltd

From the publishers:
In 1800, Napoleon Bonaparte sought to impose an absolute political authority as First Consul for life, and emperor in 1804. A network of women authors connected with Germaine de Stael in Paris, Coppet, Berlin, and Florence maintained salons and addressed political conflicts in their novels, correspondence and theory. Nationalist histories, written by salon members, reinforced their unified political agenda by emphasizing the heroic acts that guaranteed national freedom. Semiotics became the primary means of political propaganda and persuasion in the absence of legislative debate and women's suffrage. As Napoleon expanded the boundaries of his empire throughout Europe, Neoclassicism became the dominant mode of imperial design expressed through Roman imperial motifs in monuments he erected throughout Paris. Romanticism, by contrast was favored by the resistance movement in women's literary salons. Faced with an enforced political impotence imposed by society, women turned to literature as a political tool in fomenting political propaganda movements. Women's literary salons that once entertained Republican political circles at the time of the French Revolution, continued to promote republican or monarchist values as anti-Napoleonic centers from Paris to Florence. The salons reflected their hostesses' political agenda to overthrow a patriarchal tyrannical order that had displaced the former Republican value of social equality or monarchist values of self-rule and nationalism. The issue of womens' citizenship and social equality was overturned during the early Republic, and precluded again by the imperial Napoleonic regime. Thus, women's novels, correspondence, and dramas represented an alternative to direct political participation by presenting moral and patriotic role models designed to instill republican or monarchist values in their audience through contemporary theories of epistemology.

Place and publisher: Edwin Mellen Press Ltd

Date of publication: 2009

Number of pages: 556

This week’s book(s):


From the publishers: 
"There is no sacrifice, not even that of life, which I am not ready to make for the interests of France.” With those words, Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated the throne of his French Empire on 11 April 1814. After the disastrous retreat of his Grande Armée from Russia with heavy losses and the invasion of France by Allied troops, his generals revolted and forced his abdication at Fontainebleau. Napoleon was sent into exile to the island of Elba, off the coast of Italy. It would be impossible for someone who had crowned himself emperor and dominated almost all of Europe for many years to accept such a sedate and quiet retirement at the age of just 45. The remarkable sequence of events that saw Napoleon escape from Elba, return triumphantly to Paris and finally meet his destiny at Waterloo were to become known as The Hundred Days — and that is where we pick up the trail in this title of the Let's Trail series. You can visit Elba or journey within France to Antibes, Grenoble and/or Paris. You may visit Belgium where you will the see the battlefield of Waterloo and relive these events all the time travelling in Napoleon's footsteps.

Place and publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Date of publication: 2014

Number of pages: 132


From the publishers: 
In the centre of Mantua, a covered bridge stretches over the narrow Rio where vendors sell fish from pushcarts just as locals did more than two hundred years ago when Napoleon Bonaparte laid siege to the city. Four cannon balls protruding out of an adjacent wall offer a tacit monument to the sufferings of townspeople during the 1796–1797 siege, when the city, held by Austrian troops, finally fell under French control. Two years later, Mantua was again barraged, this time by a combined Austrian and Russian army, which took it back after four months. In Napoleon in Italy, Phillip R. Cuccia brings to light two understudied aspects of these trying periods in Mantua's history: siege warfare and the conditions it created inside the city.
Drawing on underutilized military records in Austrian, French, and Italian archives, Cuccia delves into these conflicts to integrate political and social issues with a campaign study. Unlike other military histories of the era, Napoleon in Italy brings to light the words of soldiers, leaders, and citizens who experienced the sieges firsthand. Cuccia also shows how the sieges had consequences long after they were over. The surrender and proposed court-martial of François-Philippe de Foissac-Latour, the French general in charge of Mantua in 1799, sheds new light on Napoleon's disdain for defeat. Foissac-Latour faced Napoleon's ire, expulsion from the army, and harsh public criticism.
Napoleon in Italy is not only the story of Mantua's strategic importance. Mantua also symbolized Napoleon's voracious determination to win and Austria's desperation to retain its possessions. By placing the sieges of Mantua in an eighteenth-century international context, Cuccia introduces readers to a broader understanding of siege warfare and of how the global impacts the local.

Phillip R. Cuccia is a U.S. Army Attaché in Rome. His article, "Controlling the Archives: The Requisition, Removal, and Return of the Vatican Archives during the Age of Napoleon", appeared in Napoleonica.La Revue in 2013.  

Place and publisher: Norman: University of Oklahoma Press

Date of publication: 2014

Number of pages: 328

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