Cover image for The women of Paris and their French Revolution
The women of Paris and their French Revolution
Godineau, Dominique.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Citoyennes tricoteuses. English
Publication Information:
Berkeley : University of California Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
xxii, 415 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DC731 .G6313 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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During the French Revolution, hundreds of domestic and working-class women of Paris were interrogated, examined, accused, denounced, arrested, and imprisoned for their rebellious and often hostile behavior. Here, for the first time in English translation, Dominique Godineau offers an illuminating account of these female revolutionaries. As nurturing and tender as they are belligerent and contentious, these are not singular female heroines but the collective common women who struggled for bare subsistence by working in factories, in shops, on the streets, and on the home front while still finding time to participate in national assemblies, activist gatherings, and public demonstrations in their fight for the recognition of women as citizens within a burgeoning democracy.

Relying on exhaustive research in historical archives, police accounts, and demographic resources at specific moments of the Revolutionary period, Godineau describes the private and public lives of these women within their precise political, social, historical, and gender-specific contexts. Her insightful and engaging observations shed new light on the importance of women as instigators, activists, militants, and decisive revolutionary individuals in the crafting and rechartering of their political and social roles as female citizens within the New Republic.

Author Notes

Dominique Godineau is Professor of Social Science at the Universit#65533; de Rennes 2. This work originally appeared in French as Citoyennes tricoteuses: Les femmes du peuple #65533; Paris pendant la R#65533;volution fran#65533;aise .

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Until this book was published in French in 1988, the leading works on women in the French Revolution had come from the Anglo-American historical tradition. Godineau's work quickly became the standard portrait of women within the Parisian militant movement. It not only presents new material from traditional political sources and previously underutilized police archives, but also revives an approach to working-class Paris that had gone into decline as a result of the shift toward revisionist historiography. Godineau addresses some of the issues that Anglo-American historians have explored: gender and human rights, counterrevolution, and political symbolism. Her study provides a fresh and compelling look at both activists and followers among Parisian women, who demonstrated a kind of citizenship without claiming it, and situates them in the worlds of family, work, subsistence, and politics. It combines social analysis with political narrative and makes available to English-language readers material useful in courses on the French Revolution and women's studies. General readers; upper-division undergraduates, and above. D. G. Troyansky; Texas Tech University