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Title: Popular rumour in Revolutionary Paris, 1792-1794
Author: Porter, Lindsay
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2014
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Rumours thrive in periods of social and political unrest; the combination of uncertainty and upheaval and a demand for information creates a crucible for the spread of unsubstantiated news. In such situations, even unconfirmed reports serve a purpose, allowing communities to give voice to their anxieties and hopes. An examination of the role and impact of rumour during the French Revolution has the potential to shed new light on the experiences of those who lived through it. Focussing on Paris during the most radical years of Jacobinism, this thesis explores the ways in which informal communication networks helped to shape popular perceptions of the Revolution. Adopting a different approach from George Lefebvre’s classic study, this thesis explores the role of rumour as a phenomenon in itself. It investigates the way in which the informal authority of the on dit (‘they say’) of the street was subject to a range of historical and contemporary prejudices and the extent to which it was monitored by the authorities. Drawing its conclusions from a close reading of the police archives in Paris, this thesis examines the potential of rumour to unite communities but also to divide them, as the power of on dit began to play an important role in denunciations.
Supervisor: Forrest, Alan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available