Letters from Revolutionary France

Letters from Revolutionary France

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This work presents an annotated version of the letters of Major Watkin Tench, who was held on parole in the town of Quimper in Brittany between 1794-1795. Tench was writing in the period between the fall of Robespierre and the massacre of invading emigres south if Quimper in June 1795, a tense period in which deep-seated conflicts over religion and language were fuelling counter-revotionary uprisings in rural Brittany. His account illustrates and analyzes the volatile relationship between languages (English, French, Breton) and socio-political codes (republican and monarchist, genteel and plebian, Catholic and anticlerical) during the French Revolution.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 142.2 x 218.4 x 17.8mm | 430.92g
  • University of Wales Press
  • Wales, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2 maps
  • 0708316921
  • 9780708316924
  • 1,924,673

About Watkin Tench

Gavin Edwards is a senior lecturer in literature at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Glamorgan. He is a former lecturer at the University of Wales, Lampeter and the University of Sydney. French and French studies is a particularly popular choice of subjects among students, and this first hand account of the French Revolution would make excellent background reading for any student studying in the field of literature, history or french.show more

Table of contents

1796 edition of the letters; introduction offering an interpretation of the book's historical, cultural and literary importance; annotations to explain and contextualize points of historical and cultural significance. The text would also include a map of the Channel and North West France; a chronology of relevant French, British and world events; Mary Wollstonecraft's 1796 review of the letters; a translation of the 'Preface' to the 1789 Paris Edition of A Narrative of the Expedition to Botany Bay; an article by Captain Bligh, taken from the Naval Gazette describing the sea-battle in which Tench was captured.show more

Review quote

'The letters ... are an easy read, and provide an intriguing insight into how the provincial society of western Brittany was coping with the political uncertainty of the Thermidorian period ... a useful ... source for eyewitness information on this period.' Modern and Contemporary France 'Tench's letters will be of considerable interest to students of naval history...an interesting little book-something to be read in bed with a lot of rum. It comes with informative notes, appendices and a lengthy introduction, hallmarks of a good editor.' Times Literary Supplementshow more