Becoming a Man in the Age of Revolutions
Dena Goodman, University of Michigan
This paper seeks to complicate the picture of nineteenth-century reactionary aristocrats and modern republicans by bringing an eighteenth-century perspective to bear on French revolutionary and post-revolutionary culture and society. Prof. Goodman’s paper traces the life and career of a boy born less than a decade before the start of the French Revolution. It asks how he became a man, and what kind of a man he became, through the successive upheavals of French history from the Revolution and the Terror through the restoration of the monarchy and the regimes that followed. She argues that he became a “new man” of the nineteenth century only by drawing on family ties and patronage networks deeply embedded in the ancien regime of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Learn more about the Center for Renaissance Studies’ Eighteenth-Century Seminar.