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Women Against Napoleon

Historical and Fictional Responses to his Rise and Legacy

Although Prussia’s beloved Queen Luise and the Swiss-born aristocrat and writer Germaine de Staël were Napoleon Bonaparte’s best-known female opponents, women’s discontent with Napoleon and the Napoleonic wars was more widespread—and vocal—than once assumed. Women against Napoleon expands our awareness of the range of women’s responses to the despot by presenting an international spectrum of female opposition, including contemporary letters, diaries, and published writings, as well as historical fiction of the twentieth century. By setting these materials together, this volume forges new links between literary, historical, and gender scholarship.

300 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 3/8

History: European History

Women's Studies

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations
List of contributors


Women and Women’s Writing against Napoleon
Waltraud Maierhofer 
With scepter, sword, or pen: Forms of resistance
1. Englishwomen and Napoleon Bonaparte
Deborah Kennedy
2. Maria Carolina Queen of Naples: The “Devil’s Grandmother” fights Napoleon
Waltraud Maierhofer
3. Marseilles to Stockholm; Bonaparte to Bernadotte: The Unique Life of Désirée Clary
Dorothy Potter

Anti-War, Anti-Napoleon: Guardians of material and spiritual welfare
4. French Women respond to Napoleon
Denise Davidson
5. The Liberation from Napoleon as a Personal Liberation: The Year 1813 in Letters of Rahel Varnhagen
Gertrud Maria Roesch
6. Friederike Brun’s Briefe aus Rom (1816): Cosmopolitanism, Nationalism and the Politics of Geistlichkeit
Kari Lokke
Forms of Aesthetic and Cultural-Political Opposition
7. Diversionary Tactics: Art Criticism as Political Weapon in Staël’s Corinne, ou l´Italie (1807)
Heather Belnap Jensen
8. Rewriting the National Paradigm: Staël’s De l’Allemagne (1810) and the German Defense of Sociability
Beatrice Guenther

9. Napoleon, the Museum, and Memory Politics in Caroline de la Motte Fouqué’s Geschichte der Moden (1829-30)
Silke Arnold-de Simine

Belated Nineteenth-Century and Twentieth-Century Opposition 
Lessons in Nationalism
10. The Triumph of Moderation? The “Wars of Liberation” in the Writing of Louise von François
Caroline Bland
11. Fighting Napoleon, Loving the French: Friedrich Spielhagen, Noblesse oblige (1888)
Jeffrey L. Sammons
12. Growing into a Nation: Queen Louise and the Lessons of Nationalism in Adolescent Fiction for Girls
Jennifer Drake Askey
13. Thwarted Enemy: Eros and Self-Assertion in Gertrud Kolmar’s Poem Cycle Napoleon and Marie (1921)
Barbara Besslich

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