La surveillance révolutionnaire dans l’Ouest en guerre

La surveillance révolutionnaire dans l’Ouest en guerre The product of twin journées d’études held at the Université de Poitiers and the Université de Rennes 2, this edited volume examines the surveillance committees of Western France during the French Revolution’s radical phase. Collecting twelve local studies across a short 153 pages, attempting both quantitative analysis and thick description of surviving regional archival sources, the volume calls attention to the complex internal dynamics of a region beset with the Vendée rebellion, Chouan guerilla fighting and diverse additional disturbances over the examined period of 1793–4. The surveillance committees achieved a meteoric rise, rapidly gaining the power of life or death over local administrators as the First Republic turned towards terror. Together, the volume’s contributions describe a region in which legitimacy and loyalty remained in flux—with revolutionary idealism, local pragmatism and counter-revolutionary enthusiasm all playing significant roles. The reader is left with the impression of what Bruno Hervé terms a ‘violente et multiforme’ space of civil war, in which each commune and village adapted to the strained circumstances of the time. More than any common pattern, as Gwénaël Murphy and Yves Pierronne describe in their contribution, each area pursued ‘initiatives locales particulières destinées avant tout à server la communauté villageoise’. Though the works here rarely directly discuss historiography, the influence of recent studies aiming to deconstruct ‘The Terror’ into more complex local realities is apparent. The contributions explore the committees across a combination of towns, departments and regions, with overlapping—albeit not matching—methodologies. The lack of ambition by the authors or editors to achieve (or attempt) synthesis, however, will probably frustrate most readers. The book features a two-page introduction, with the two of the editors very modestly describing its goal as providing a ‘pierre supplementaire’ for future research. The volume ends abruptly with no conclusion. Little is done to make the volume accessible to most readers. While apparently sceptical of grand narratives—probably influenced by Jean-Clément Martin’s many myth-exploding works on the region—the unwillingness to extrapolate from the detailed studies presented here appears a greater fault, with the volume running the danger of privileging localism and particularism for their own sakes. It is unclear—and perhaps unknown—to what edifice these bricks will be applied. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for the Study of French History. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png French History Oxford University Press

La surveillance révolutionnaire dans l’Ouest en guerre

Loading next page...
 
/lp/ou_press/la-surveillance-r-volutionnaire-dans-l-ouest-en-guerre-4bSyDPzcYR
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for the Study of French History. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com
ISSN
0269-1191
eISSN
1477-4542
D.O.I.
10.1093/fh/crx081
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The product of twin journées d’études held at the Université de Poitiers and the Université de Rennes 2, this edited volume examines the surveillance committees of Western France during the French Revolution’s radical phase. Collecting twelve local studies across a short 153 pages, attempting both quantitative analysis and thick description of surviving regional archival sources, the volume calls attention to the complex internal dynamics of a region beset with the Vendée rebellion, Chouan guerilla fighting and diverse additional disturbances over the examined period of 1793–4. The surveillance committees achieved a meteoric rise, rapidly gaining the power of life or death over local administrators as the First Republic turned towards terror. Together, the volume’s contributions describe a region in which legitimacy and loyalty remained in flux—with revolutionary idealism, local pragmatism and counter-revolutionary enthusiasm all playing significant roles. The reader is left with the impression of what Bruno Hervé terms a ‘violente et multiforme’ space of civil war, in which each commune and village adapted to the strained circumstances of the time. More than any common pattern, as Gwénaël Murphy and Yves Pierronne describe in their contribution, each area pursued ‘initiatives locales particulières destinées avant tout à server la communauté villageoise’. Though the works here rarely directly discuss historiography, the influence of recent studies aiming to deconstruct ‘The Terror’ into more complex local realities is apparent. The contributions explore the committees across a combination of towns, departments and regions, with overlapping—albeit not matching—methodologies. The lack of ambition by the authors or editors to achieve (or attempt) synthesis, however, will probably frustrate most readers. The book features a two-page introduction, with the two of the editors very modestly describing its goal as providing a ‘pierre supplementaire’ for future research. The volume ends abruptly with no conclusion. Little is done to make the volume accessible to most readers. While apparently sceptical of grand narratives—probably influenced by Jean-Clément Martin’s many myth-exploding works on the region—the unwillingness to extrapolate from the detailed studies presented here appears a greater fault, with the volume running the danger of privileging localism and particularism for their own sakes. It is unclear—and perhaps unknown—to what edifice these bricks will be applied. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for the Study of French History. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com

Journal

French HistoryOxford University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2018

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve Freelancer

DeepDyve Pro

Price
FREE
$49/month

$360/year
Save searches from Google Scholar, PubMed
Create lists to organize your research
Export lists, citations
Read DeepDyve articles
Abstract access only
Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles
Print
20 pages/month
PDF Discount
20% off