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The family romance of the French Revolution

Author: Lynn Hunt
Publisher: Berkeley : University of California Press, ©1992
Edition/Format:   Print book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
This latest work from an author known for her contributions to the new cultural history is a daring multidisciplinary investigation of the imaginative foundations of modern politics. "Family romance" was coined by Freud to describe the fantasy of being freed from one's family and belonging to one of higher social standing. In Freud's view, the family romance was a way for individuals to fantasize about their place  Read more...
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Details

Named Person: Louis, King of France
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Lynn Hunt
ISBN: 0520077415 9780520077416 0520082702 9780520082700
OCLC Number: 24247537
Notes: "A Centennial book"--Half title page.
Description: xvi, 213 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: The family model of politics --
The rise and fall of the good father --
The band of brothers --
The bad mother --
Sade's family politics --
Rehabilitating the family.
Responsibility: Lynn Hunt.
More information:

Abstract:

This latest work from an author known for her contributions to the new cultural history is a daring multidisciplinary investigation of the imaginative foundations of modern politics. "Family romance" was coined by Freud to describe the fantasy of being freed from one's family and belonging to one of higher social standing. In Freud's view, the family romance was a way for individuals to fantasize about their place in the social order. Hunt uses the term more broadly, to describe the images of the familial order underlying revolutionary politics. She investigates the narratives of family relations that structured the collective political unconscious. Most Europeans in the eighteenth century thought of their rulers as fathers and of their nations as families writ large. The French Revolution violently disrupted that patriarchal model of authority and raised troubling questions about what was to replace it. The king and queen were executed after dramatic separate trials. Prosecutors in the trial of the queen accused her of exerting undue influence on the king and his ministers, engaging in sexual debauchery, and even committing incest with her eight-year-old son. Hunt focuses on the meaning of killing the king-father and the queen-mother and what these ritual sacrifices meant to the establishment of a new model of politics. In a wide-ranging account that uses novels, engravings, paintings, speeches, newspaper editorials, pornographic writing, and revolutionary legislation about the family, Hunt shows that politics were experienced through the grid of the family romance.

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