Women's Rights and the French Revolution

Women's Rights and the French Revolution : A Biography of Olympe De Gouges

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Description

Women played a major part in the French Revolution of 1789, but have received very little recognition for their contributions. The many claims and protests put forth by women at that time were suppressed, women's clubs were banned, and Olympe de Gouges, a leading contemporary advocate for women's rights, was silenced and has since remained an obscure figure. This book is the first biography of this astonishing woman.

After boldly publishing her Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of the Female Citizen in 1791, de Gouges was sent to the guillotine for having had the courage to mount the rostrum on behalf of women. Unlike many who have captured posterity's attention, de Gouges had great sympathy but no indulgence for her sex. Instead of considering her female colleagues as eternal victims, she understood that they were to some extent responsible for their misfortunes, and that if they united and devoted themselves to changing their image, they could become great. De Gouges called for the advent of a new woman, one who would relinquish the "nocturnal administering" of men.

Olympe de Gouges rightly deserves the title of pioneer, prophet, and heroine. This long-overdue biography pays her due homage. It will be of interest to students of the French Revolution, women's studies, and biography.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 114 pages
  • 157.48 x 233.68 x 15.24mm | 317.51g
  • Transaction Publishers
  • Somerset, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0765803453
  • 9780765803450
  • 1,656,478

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Table of contents

Preface
Introduction
1. Montauban
2. Paris, Pleasures
3. Olympe's Revolution
4. The Last Two Years
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
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Review quote

Mousset writes a lyrical prose that just begins to suggest the influence and impact of this notorious political writer and provocateur on her contemporaries. The biography demonstrates de Gouges's significance as an author and the power of her arguments for students and scholars focused on women's political history.

-- Wendy Gunther-Canada, The Review of Politics

-Sophie Mousset's absorbing biography of the bold, brave, and thought-provoking Olympe de Gouges (1748-1793) convincingly rehabilitates the importance of an unjustly overlooked intellectual from the French Revolutionary period. Often dismissed as a coquettish socialite and mere agitator, the 'tall, beautiful, and witty' Olympe de Gouges was in fact a pioneering social thinker, an uncompromising engaging playwright, a far-seeing feminist, and indeed the drafter, in September 1791 of an extraordinary, little-known, Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen. As Mousset impressively shows, Olympe de Gouges developed a forcible, but also subtle and deep-probing, moral and political conscience, before she herself a revolutionary fell victim to the same revolutionary excesses that she had perceived, defined, and incisively denounced (In 1793, she was the first woman to be guillotined after Marie-Antoinette). By bringing back to life this intrepid yet percipient writer, Mousset challenges us to take a new look at the history of women's rights, at rarely mentioned aspects of French revolutionary thought and, perhaps most of all, at the perennial dilemma of balancing effective political action, objective discernment, and generous restraint.-

--John Taylor, author of Paths to Contemporary French Literature

-Mousset's biography of Olympe de Gouges is the first one available in English. . . . The book is written for a general audience, without theoretical or scholarly apparatus. . . . Olympe's story is relevant to feminist history, and also to debates about the meaning of the French Revolution.-

--Joan Roelofs, Science & Society Mousset writes a lyrical prose that just begins to suggest the influence and impact of this notorious political writer and provocateur on her contemporaries. The biography demonstrates de Gouges's significance as an author and the power of her arguments for students and scholars focused on women's political history.

-- Wendy Gunther-Canada, The Review of Politics

"Sophie Mousset's absorbing biography of the bold, brave, and thought-provoking Olympe de Gouges (1748-1793) convincingly rehabilitates the importance of an unjustly overlooked intellectual from the French Revolutionary period. Often dismissed as a coquettish socialite and mere agitator, the 'tall, beautiful, and witty' Olympe de Gouges was in fact a pioneering social thinker, an uncompromising engaging playwright, a far-seeing feminist, and indeed the drafter, in September 1791 of an extraordinary, little-known, Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen. As Mousset impressively shows, Olympe de Gouges developed a forcible, but also subtle and deep-probing, moral and political conscience, before she herself a revolutionary fell victim to the same revolutionary excesses that she had perceived, defined, and incisively denounced (In 1793, she was the first woman to be guillotined after Marie-Antoinette). By bringing back to life this intrepid yet percipient writer, Mousset challenges us to take a new look at the history of women's rights, at rarely mentioned aspects of French revolutionary thought and, perhaps most of all, at the perennial dilemma of balancing effective political action, objective discernment, and generous restraint."

--John Taylor, author of Paths to Contemporary French Literature

"Mousset's biography of Olympe de Gouges is the first one available in English. . . . The book is written for a general audience, without theoretical or scholarly apparatus. . . . Olympe's story is relevant to feminist history, and also to debates about the meaning of the French Revolution."

--Joan Roelofs, Science & Society "Sophie Mousset's absorbing biography of the bold, brave, and thought-provoking Olympe de Gouges (1748-1793) convincingly rehabilitates the importance of an unjustly overlooked intellectual from the French Revolutionary period. Often dismissed as a coquettish socialite and mere agitator, the 'tall, beautiful, and witty' Olympe de Gouges was in fact a pioneering social thinker, an uncompromising engaging playwright, a far-seeing feminist, and indeed the drafter, in September 1791 of an extraordinary, little-known, Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen. As Mousset impressively shows, Olympe de Gouges developed a forcible, but also subtle and deep-probing, moral and political conscience, before she herself a revolutionary fell victim to the same revolutionary excesses that she had perceived, defined, and incisively denounced (In 1793, she was the first woman to be guillotined after Marie-Antoinette). By bringing back to life this intrepid yet percipient writer, Mousset challenges us to take a new look at the history of women's rights, at rarely mentioned aspects of French revolutionary thought and, perhaps most of all, at the perennial dilemma of balancing effective political action, objective discernment, and generous restraint."

--John Taylor, author of Paths to Contemporary French Literature

"Mousset's biography of Olympe de Gouges is the first one available in English. . . . The book is written for a general audience, without theoretical or scholarly apparatus. . . . Olympe's story is relevant to feminist history, and also to debates about the meaning of the French Revolution."

--Joan Roelofs, Science & Society "Sophie Mousset's absorbing biography of the bold, brave, and thought-provoking Olympe de Gouges (1748-1793) convincingly rehabilitates the importance of an unjustly overlooked intellectual from the French Revolutionary period. Often dismissed as a coquettish socialite and mere agitator, the "tall, beautiful, and witty" Olympe de Gouges was in fact a pioneering social thinker, an uncompromising engag playwright, a far-seeing feminist, and indeed the drafter-in September 1791of an extraordinary, little-known, "Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen." As Mousset impressively shows, Olympe de Gouges developed a forcible, but also subtle and deep-probing, moral and political conscience, before she herselfa revolutionaryfell victim to the same revolutionary excesses that she had perceived, defined, and incisively denounced. (In 1793, she was the first woman to be guillotined after Marie-Antoinette.) By bringing back to life this intrepid yet percipient writer, Mousset challenges us to take a new look at the history of women's rights, at rarely mentioned aspects of French revolutionary thought and, perhaps most of all, at the perennial dilemma of balancing effective political action, objective discernment, and generous restraint."

John Taylor, author of "Paths to Contemporary French Literature" "Olympe's story is relevant to feminist history, and also to debates about the meaning of the French Revolution."

-Science & Society "Olympe's story is relevant to feminist history, and also to debates about the meaning of the French Revolution."

-Science & Society
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About Sophie Mousset

Sophie Mousset is an avid writer, photographer, and traveler who spends most of her time abroad and on the high seas as a crew member of the three-masted ship, The Boudeuse.
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Rating details

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3.58 out of 5 stars
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3 25% (3)
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