Letters from Revolutionary France
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.
- Hardback | 208 pages
- 142.2 x 218.4 x 17.8mm | 430.92g
- 08 Aug 2001
- University of Wales Press
- Wales, United Kingdom
About Watkin Tench
Watkin Tench was a British marine officer who is best known for publishing two books describing his experiences in the First Fleet, which established the first settlement in Australia in 1788. Gavin Edwards is Emeritus Professor of English at the University South Wales. He Is the author of George Crabbe's Poetry on Border Land (1990) and Narrative Order 1789-1819: Life and Story in an Age of Revolution (2005).
'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 Supplement
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.