Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.775333
Title: The making of a revolutionary journalist : Jean-Paul Marat (1770-90)
Author: Ritchie, N.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7962 5096
Awarding Body: Queen Mary, University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 2019
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Abstract:
This thesis provides the first comprehensive account of the philosophical and political formation of Jean-Paul Marat (1743-1793) as a revolutionary journalist, drawing from his extensive prerevolutionary career to provide a framework for understanding his first year as a pamphleteer and editor of the Ami du peuple. While the French Revolution may have captivated imaginations for the past two centuries, the same cannot be said of Marat who has traditionally been seen as the epitome of excess. I argue, instead, for a re-evaluation of a neglected Enlightenment figure whose motives, intentions and intellect have often been devalued, and whose significance during the first year of the Revolution has been widely underestimated. Drawing upon an extensive range of sources, including some new archive material, I demonstrate that a detailed knowledge of the variety of Marat's pre-revolutionary careers and influences, in particular, his religious, medical and scientific backgrounds, and close connection with the theoretical and practical traditions of English extra-parliamentary politics, is vital for a proper understanding of his revolutionary strategies. I argue for the importance of interpreting Marat's intellectual output between 1770 and 1790 as a coherent body of work that should be assessed within the context of its production rather than through the distorting lens of his later notoriety, and reveal that his political radicalism was evident long before any setbacks to his scientific career. Finally, I show how many of the roots of the légende noire that has bedevilled critical assessment of Marat can be traced back to the earliest months of his revolutionary involvement, and a smear campaign calculated to neutralize his credibility as an uncompromising critic of the new regime. In this regard, it seeks to move past the reductionist, psychological interpretation of Marat's behaviour, which has tended to predominate in the scholarship.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Queen Mary Postgraduate Research Fund ; British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (BSECS)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.775333  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Marat ; historiography ; revolutionary participation ; pre-revolutionary formation
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