The Politics of Appearances: Representations of Dress in Revolutionary France

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Oktober 2002



In the turbulent political and social landscape of Revolutionary France, dress played a major role in defining and displaying new identities. What people wore was, in fact, a vital symbol of their allegiances and beliefs. Drawing on a wide range of documentary and visual sources, this book offers a vivid picture of the highly charged politics of Revolutionary appearances. The author explores the dynamic complexity of the new socio-political world, where the identification of who stood for what was such an urgent, if vexed, issue: where identical items of dress could stand for opposing political ideologies, where a variety of institutions - from local societies to the national assembly - tried to define the meanings associated with clothing, and where the clothes a person wore could seal their fate. Tracing the stories surrounding the liberty cap, the different manifestations of official dress, the tricolore cockade and the sans-culotte provides a new and exciting insight into the complexities and uncertainties that made up life in Revolutionary France and the political culture that it created.


Abbreviations vii
Introduction 1 1 Revolutionary Relics 13 2 Representing Authority: New Forms of Official Identity 59 3 Cockades: Badge Culture and its Discontents 97 4 Liberty Caps: From Roman Emblem to Radical Headgear 135 5 Sans-culottes: The Formation, Currency, and Representation
of a Vestimentary Stereotype 187 6 Mistaken Identities: Disguise, Surveillance, and the
Legibility of Appearances 229 Coda 259 Bibliography 275 Index 311


Richard Wrigley Principal Lecturer and Chair of Department of History of Art,Oxford Brookes University


'Richard Wrigley's achievement in this absorbing study is to delve behind the stereotypes through which the dress of theFrench revolutionary period has customarily been interpreted.Through giving detailed attention to such privileged items asthe cockade, the Phrygian bonnet and the revolutionary relic, he demonstrates conclusively that these features did not function as stable symbols, but revealed in their everyday use the deep contradictions of a society striving to reinvent itscivil identity. 'S Bann, University of Bristol'[A] fascinating study of the changing meaning of appearances from 1789 to the Napoleonic period.'London Review of Books'One could leaf through this work for a long time erudite, clearly constructed and illustrative, Richard Wrigley's book will bring a great deal to all who specialise in the cultural history of French Revolution.'Annales Historiques de la Revolution Francaise 'The Politics of Appearances assembles the most detailed
EAN: 9781859735091
ISBN: 1859735096
Untertitel: First. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Oktober 2002
Seitenanzahl: 256 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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