The Woman Who Mapped the French Republic: Augustine Fouillée’s Cartographic Tour de France

Chicago Map Society Meeting
Chicago Map Society Meeting
Thursday, January 23, 2014

Social half-hour with refreshments begins at 5:30 pm followed by the lecture at 6 pm.

Towner Fellows’ Lounge

Presented by Catherine Dunlop, Assistant Professor of History, Montana State University

The classroom geography reader “Le Tour de la France par deux enfants” (The Tour de France by Two Children), first published in 1877 and re-printed well into the twentieth century, was one of the bestselling French books of all time. Narrated from the perspective of two lost orphan boys from Lorraine who journey across France in search of a long-lost uncle, the book offered schoolchildren a dynamic and lively introduction to France’s physical and cultural topography. It was only decades after the book’s publication, however, that the French public learned the true identity of its author. To the surprise of many, the most popular geography book in French history had been the work of a woman. In telling the story of Augustine Fouillée and her Tour de France, this talk will explore some of the challenges, constraints, and opportunities that women geographers and mapmakers faced during the nineteenth century. Thinking broadly, it will encourage us to reconsider some of the assumptions about gender and cartography that we still carry with us today.

Cost and registration information: 

Meetings are open to the public. We do, however, ask for a $5 donation from non–Map-Society members to help support program costs, which are covered by members’ annual dues.