The French Revolution was one of the greatest events in world history, filled with remarkable characters and dramatic events. From its beginning in 1789 to the Reign of Terror in 1793-94, and through the ups and downs of the Directory era that followed, the Revolution showed humanity at its optimistic best and its violent worst; it transformed the lives of all who experienced it. The French Revolution: Faith, Desire, and Politics offers a fresh treatment of this perennially popular and hugely significant topic, introducing a bold interpretation of the Revolution that highlights the key role that religion and sexuality played in determining the shape of the Revolution. These were issues that occupied the minds and helped shape the actions of women and men; from the pornographic pamphlets about queen Marie-Antoinette to the puritanical morality of revolutionary leader Maximilien Robespierre, from the revolutionary catechisms that children learned and to the anathemas hurled on the Revolution from clandestine priests in the countryside.
The people who lived through the French Revolution were surrounded by messages about gender, sex, religion and faith, concerns which did not exist outside of the events of the Revolution. This book is an essential resource for students of the French Revolution, History of Catholicism and Women and Gender.