Access your Project MUSE content using one of the login options below Close(X)
Browse Results For:
French Detours, 1900-1930
Laetitia Toureaux and the Cagoule in 1930s France
On the evening of May 16, 1937, the train doors opened at the Porte Dorée station in the Paris Métro to reveal a dying woman slumped by a window, an eight-inch stiletto buried to its hilt in her neck. No one witnessed the crime, and the killer left behind little forensic evidence. This first-ever murder in the Paris Métro dominated the headlines for weeks during the summer of 1937, as journalists and the police slowly uncovered the shocking truth about the victim: a twenty-nine-year-old Italian immigrant, the beautiful and elusive Laetitia Toureaux. Toureaux toiled each day in a factory, but spent her nights working as a spy in the seamy Parisian underworld. Just as the dangerous spy Mata Hari fascinated Parisians of an earlier generation, the mystery of Toureaux’s murder held the French public spellbound in pre-war Paris, as the police tried and failed to identify her assassin. In Murder in the Métro, Gayle K. Brunelle and Annette Finley-Croswhite unravel Toureaux’s complicated and mysterious life, assessing her complex identity within the larger political context of the time. They follow the trail of Toureaux’s murder investigation to the Comité Secret d’Action Révolutionnaire, a secret right-wing political organization popularly known as the Cagoule, or “hooded ones.” Obsessed with the Communist threat they perceived in the growing power of labor unions and the French left wing, the Cagoule’s leaders aimed to overthrow France’s Third Republic and install an authoritarian regime allied with Italy. With Mussolini as their ally and Italian fascism as their model, they did not shrink from committing violent crimes and fomenting terror to accomplish their goal. In 1936, Toureaux—at the behest of the French police—infiltrated this dangerous group of terrorists and seduced one of its leaders, Gabriel Jeantet, to gain more information. This operation, the authors show, eventually cost Toureaux her life. The tale of Laetitia Toureaux epitomizes the turbulence of 1930s France, as the country prepared for a war most people dreaded but assumed would come. This period, therefore, generated great anxiety but also offered new opportunities—and risks—to Toureaux as she embraced the identity of a “modern” woman. The authors unravel her murder as they detail her story and that of the Cagoule, within the popular culture and conflicted politics of 1930s France. By examining documents related to Toureaux’s murder—documents the French government has sealed from public view until 2038—Brunelle and Finley-Croswhite link Toureaux’s death not only to the Cagoule but also to the Italian secret service, for whom she acted as an informant. Their research provides likely answers to the question of the identity of Toureaux’s murderer and offers a fascinating look at the dark and dangerous streets of pre–World War II Paris.
Letters from Juliette Drouet to Victor Hugo 1833-1882
My Beloved Toto, a collection of letters written by Juliette Drouet to her lover, Victor Hugo, tells the story of a life and of the great love affair that shaped it. From 1833 until her death half a century later, Drouet wrote to Hugo twice daily on average, resulting in thousands of letters. The 186 translated here—most appearing in English for the first time—offer insights into nineteenth-century French culture as well as an insider’s look at the character, behavior, working habits, and day-to-day life of France’s most monumental man of letters.
Military Fraternity, Intimacy, and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century France
Following the French Revolution, radical military reforms created conditions for new physical and emotional intimacy between soldiers, establishing a model of fraternal affection that would persist from the revolutionary and Napoleonic wars through the Franco-Prussian War and World War I.
Based on extensive research in French and American archives, and enriched by his reading of Napoleonic military memoirs and French military fiction from Hugo and Balzac to Zola and Proust, Brian Joseph Martin's view encompasses a broad range of emotional and erotic relationships in French armies from 1789 to 1916. He argues that the French Revolution's emphasis on military fraternity evolved into an unprecedented sense of camaraderie among soldiers in the armies of Napoleon. For many soldiers, the hardships of combat led to intimate friendships. For some, the homosociality of military life inspired mutual affection, lifelong commitment, and homoerotic desire.
"Hinds's study makes an important contribution to studies on the early-seventeenth-century novel. His analysis of the two novels is carried out in two broad and important contexts: sixteenth- and early-seventeenth-century French literature in general (Baroque esthetic theory, the literary controversies of the time, etc.) and modern critical theory (Bakhtin, Kristeva, Benjamin, Foucault, etc.). The author brings all of these elements together in a coherent, intelligent, and thought-provoking manner
August 4, 1789 and the French Revolution
If the Fall of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, marks the symbolic beginning of the French Revolution, then August 4 is the day the Old Regime ended, for it was on that day (or, more precisely, that night) that the National Assembly met and undertook sweeping reforms that ultimately led to a complete reconstruction of the French polity. What began as a prearranged meeting with limited objectives suddenly took on a frenzied atmosphere during which dozens of noble deputies renounced their traditional privileges and dues. By the end of the night, the Assembly had instituted more meaningful reform than had the monarchy in decades of futile efforts. In The Night the Old Regime Ended, Michael Fitzsimmons offers the ¹rst full-length study in English of the night of August 4 and its importance to the French Revolution. Fitzsimmons argues against François Furet and others who maintain that the Terror was implicit in the events of 1789. To the contrary, Fitzsimmons shows that the period from 1789 to 1791 was a genuine moderate phase of the Revolution. Unlike all of its successor bodies, the National Assembly passed no punitive legislation against recalcitrant clergy or émigrés, and it amnestied all those imprisoned for political offenses before it disbanded. In the ¹nal analysis, the remarkable degree of change accomplished peacefully is what distinguishes the early period of the Revolution and gives it world-historical importance.
Vol. 29, no. 3 & 4 (2001) through current issue
Nineteenth-Century French Studies provides scholars and students with the opportunity to examine new trends, review promising research findings, and become better acquainted with professional developments in the field. Scholarly articles on all aspects of nineteenth-century French literature and criticism are invited. Published articles are peer-reviewed to insure scholarly integrity. The journal has an extensive book review section covering a variety of disciplines.