Blood Sisters: French Revolution in Women's Memory

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9780044409182: Blood Sisters: French Revolution in Women's Memory

"Blood Sisters" restores to history voices of the women who witnessed the French Revolution. They left us an invaluable legacy - some 80 accounts of what they saw and experienced. From the 16-page testimonial of the Widow Bault, wife of the concierge in Marie-Antoinette's prison, to the 10 volume memoirs of the writer Mme de Genlis, their stories describe how they participated, individually and collectively, in the revolutionary saga, and how they sometimes succeeded in manipulating a political system designed to exclude them. The memoirists of "Blood Sisters" portray themselves as active participants, cheering the revolution on its course, or more frequently resisting it. The most unforgettable chronicles are singled out: those of the governess of the royal children; the servant attending Marie-Antoinette in her last days; Robespierre's sister, Charlotte; and the peasant woman from the vendee who fought as a soldier. Aristocrats and bourgeois women, royalists and republicans, even the few peasant and working class women who left accounts of their experiences - all were bound together by a common nightmare. Their writings attest to the human cost of radical social change.

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