French Studies, Vol. 00,No. 0, 1 REVIEW ALBERT-JEAN-MICHEL ROCCA, Œuvres: Me´moires sur la guerre des Franc¸ais en Espagne (1814); La Campagne de Walcheren (1817); Le Mal du pays (1817–1818, ine´dit). Textes pre´sente´s et e´tablis par STEPHANIE GENAND, avec la collaboration d’ALINE HODROGE. (Tournant des Lumie`res.) Paris: Honore´ Champion, 2017. 296 pp. The volume contains three works by Albert-Jean-Michel Rocca (1788–1818), a Geneva-born ofﬁcer in the French army who is known especially for his published memoirs as lieutenant in the Napoleonic army, where he served until his injury in 1812, and for his relationship with Germaine de Stae¨l, whom he married in 1811. The publication of this volume amends an important omission in the ﬁeld of literary history: despite his esteemed position in Stae¨l’s milieu, Rocca’s writings have too often been relegated to the ﬁeld of specialized military history and were largely overlooked by general intellectual historiography. This is the ﬁrst time that these writings have been gathered in a single volume, and Ste´phanie Genand, a specialist of Stae¨l and of late-eighteenth-century literature, here provides us with the ﬁrst scholarly annotated compilation of Rocca’s writings. The ﬁrst work included in the volume, Me´moires sur la guerre des Franc¸ais en Espagne (published initially in 1814), is the most extensive and arguably the most historically important of the three compiled texts. The Me´moires, which gained wide circulation in France in the early nineteenth century and were translated into English and German, depict Rocca’s experience of serving as a lieutenant in the Spanish campaign of the Grand Arme´e, and provide one of the ﬁrst intimate accounts of the Peninsular Wars. Rocca’s account of warfare and military life is an early portrayal of what would come to be known as the Napoleonic guerre totale: the blurring of lines between soldiers and civilians and the full engagement of national resources on both sides of the fray. Special attention is granted to the quelling of Spanish guerrilla ﬁghters by the occupying force, which is treated in a somewhat dispassionate manner. Echoing the perspective developed by the pamphlets of the various political writings of the Groupe de Coppet, especially of authors such as Stae¨l and Benjamin Constant, Rocca coldly describes the revo- lutionary zeal with which the French occupation dismantled the old Iberian political and religious institutions, only to sow bitterness and alienation among the Spanish population and bring about informal resistance. Rocca portrays the spontaneous resistance efforts of the Spanish citizenry, and contrasts these with the Grande Arme´e, which was rendered inef- fective and inert due to its size and to logistical problems, as well as by problems involving its internal national and cultural heterogeneity. The second work included in the volume, an account of the Dutch expedition of 1809, is far more focused on immediate military and tactical aspects of the campaign and touches only brieﬂy on the social context of the French occupation. The short novel Le Mal du pays, which recounts the experience of a young Swiss soldier, complements these accounts by offering more personal psychological insights into Rocca, whose style is more often clinical. The volume includes an extensive preface by the editor of the volume, describing the publication history of Rocca’s works. It also includes three briefer prefaces by other scholars, who elaborate on Rocca’s Helvetic background and the unique status of Switzerland in the Napoleonic system. The volume, the quality of which is to be commended, is important for scholars of the Napoleonic era, in its military as well as literary aspects. DANIEL ROSENBERG doi:10.1093/fs/kny112 HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM # The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for French Studies. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: email@example.com Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/fs/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/fs/kny112/4995874 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 08 June 2018
French Studies – Oxford University Press
Published: May 14, 2018
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