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Title: Trends in radical propaganda on the eve of the French Revolution (1782-1788)
Author: Darnton, Robert Choate
ISNI:       0000 0001 2146 9084
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1964
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The pamphleteers popularized the mythology of despotism by denouncing lettres de cachet and other supposed abuses of power that had little effect on most people. Historians like Funck-Brentano may be correct in arguing that the government was really moderate at this time, but it is important to show that radical propagandists were quite successful in convincing Frenchmen that thousands of innocent victims huddled miserably in cachots for having inflamed the despotic passions of a minister. Moreover the prisons that were mythological for most Frenchmen had been terribly real for Brissot, Carra, Gorsas and many other writers, and this consideration also suggests the importance of the biographical approach. The Bastille may have been nearly empty, but it was a powerful symbol, effectively exploited by pamphleteers who dealt in symbols, declamation and distortions of political realities. They were highly successful in dominating public opinion, which exerted an influence on events that has been unappreciated in relation to the weak, irresolute rule of Louis XVI. The thesis attempts to develop this interprettion of the political importance of radical propaganda with reference to the scientific, financial and literary history of the period. It may seem weak on some ponts of these specialized fields, but it is hoped that it assimilates them successfully in its main attempt to contribute to an understanding of the last years of the Ancien Regime: its analysis of the character of radical propaganda in relation to the men who created it.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Literature (non-English) ; History ; History of Britain and Europe ; Eighteenth-Century Britain and Europe ; Political science ; French history ; propaganda ; pamphlets ; religious mysticism ; Etienne Clavière ; Lafayette ; Jean-Jacques Duval d'Eprémesnil ; Adrien Duport ; Nicolas Bergasse ; Jean-Pierre Lenoir ; Charles Alexandre de Calonne ; Jacques-Pierre Brissot ; Jean-Louis Carra ; Antoine-Joseph Gorsas ; mesmerism ; Guillaume Kornmann ; Kornmann Group ; Cult of America ; Gallo-American Society ; finance ; Parlement of Paris