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Title: 'Tout est romanesque dans la Révolution de la France.' : a study of French prose fiction of the years 1789-1794
Author: Cook, Malcolm
ISNI:       0000 0001 3561 7551
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1974
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This thesis has three main aims to give information about the prose fiction of the period 1789-1794, to situate these works in their historical and social background, and to compare different categories of prose fiction in an attempt to gauge their effectiveness, their qualities, and their failures. The study points out the previous lack of worthwhile criticism, shows how some authors attempt to shake off the chains of moral servitude, and introduces the difficulties of a practical nature that beast writers during the Revolution. The second chapter discusses writers' adherence to the moral cliché- that virtuous conduct will lead to happiness - and examines ways in which authors attempt to vary their instructive process. The third and fourth chapters’ trace the technical progression of this process; the third, concentrating on licentious novels, concludes that the cliché retains its force, while the fourth, itself divided into three main sections, examines pornographic works that are written, 1) because sex is a saleable product, 2) because the description of the excessive sexual appetites of important figures questions their ability to govern, and 3) because pornography represents a means of portraying both a political faith and a personal dilemma. The fifth chapter shows how fiction incorporates real (i.e. historically verifiable) elements for the purpose of propaganda. Here the manner of the description determines the political interpretation. In contrast, the next chapter introduces allegorical and mock Oriental stories where lightly-veiled fiction consents on the revolutionary situation by drawing obvious parallels. A chapter on Republican fiction shown how writers used the pastoral (itself a form of allegory) to popularise the principle of An II republicanism, virtue. A concluding section on Restif de Ia Bretonne illustrates how one author attempted each of the options open to the fiction of the period.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PQ Romance literatures