Glory and Terror: Seven Deaths Under the French Revolution

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"Fully engaging our fascination with the macabre, Glory and Terror illustrates how certain corpses became highly charged political symbols during the course of the French Revolution. Arguing that the key moments of the Revolution were "dialogues with the dead," this study dramatically evokes the passions inflamed by seven famous corpses. Antoine de Baecque takes a look at the very public death of the great orator and libertine, Mirabeau; describes the pageantry of the procession carrying Voltaire's body to the Pantheon; and investigates the sexually-charged myths surrounding the murder of Marie Antoinette's intimate friend, the Princesse de Lamballe. He recreates the tense and awe-inspiring spectacle of Louis XVI's execution, and examines the agonizing final hours of the defeated and disfigured Robespierre."--BOOK JACKET.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This is an engrossing and highly original work by an acclaimed young scholar and biographer (coauthor of Truffaut). A professor of history at the University of Saint Quentin in Yvelynes, France, de Baecque brings to this study a keen understanding of the "theatre" of revolution. His thesis is that at key points in the French Revolution, the deaths or burials of several leading personalities were celebrated, commemorated, or treated in such a way as to lend meaning and symbolism to the prevailing mindset and temper of the Revolution at that time. Hence, the death of Mirabeau in 1791 seemed to symbolize the death of the first (moderate) stage of the Revolution. Similarly, the elaborate 1791 ceremonies surrounding the transfer of Voltaire's remains to Paris could be viewed as a sign of the "collective regeneration of the French people." De Baecque also aims to have readers comprehend the symbolism behind the vicious and barbaric assaults on the corpse of the Princess de Lambelle, or the treatment accorded the body of the dead King Louis XVI. Remaining "corpses" discussed include Geffroy, Robespierre, and Madame Necker. De Baecque also recounts the varying ways in which those of differing political persuasions came to remember and memorialize these deaths over time. A fascinating work for serious students of the French Revolution; recommended for academic libraries. Marie Marmo Mullaney, Caldwell Coll., NJ Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415926164
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 5/28/2001
  • Pages: 247
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Antoine de Baecque is Professor of History at the University of Saint Quentin in Yvelynes, France and author of several studies of France during the Revolution, including The Body Politic: Corporeal Metaphor in Revolutionary France . He serves as editor of the Cahiers du cinemaand is co-author of the biography, Truffaut, published by Knopf (1999).

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Sublime Abjection: The Ascendancy of Corpses 1
Mirabeau; or, The Spectacle of a Public Corpse 15
Voltaire; or, The Body of the Philosopher King 37
The Princesse de Lamballe; or, Sex Slaughtered 61
Louis XVI; or, The Sacred Remains 87
Geffroy; or, The Fear of Others 121
Robespierre; or, The Terrible Tableau 145
Madame Necker; or, The Poetry of the Corpse 175
Author's Acknowledgments 205
Notes 207
Index 235
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