Thibaut Julian, A theater for the nation. History on stage (1765

At the end of the 18th century, France went through a succession of major upheavals, from the twilight of absolute monarchy to the Empire of Napoleon. The theater is experiencing unprecedented vitality reflected in the renewal of themes, genres and performances. In the wake of Voltaire and Belloy, many authors sensitive to the rise of patriotism seized on the history of France or current events, making the scene a memorial and a tribunal of the past which reflects the present time. .

This “national theatre” was designed as a moral and civic device, but the ideal of a united people came up against representations of antagonistic figures, monarchical or revolutionary, according to constantly evolving ideologies. Mediating the tensions of society, the national theater expresses powerful collective emotions oscillating between admiration and tenderness, fervor and laughter, but also lament and horror in the face of the wounds of the past.

By studying more than 250 plays and their reception thanks to the reviews of periodicals, Thibaut Julian offers all enthusiasts a reference work on the history of theater and performances during the Enlightenment and the French Revolution.

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Thibaut Julian is a lecturer in 18th century French literature and civilization.e century at the Université Lumière Lyon 2 and member of the Institute for the History of Representations and Ideas in Modernity (IHRIM). He directed with Vincenzo De Santis Fever and life of the theater under the French Revolution and the Empire (Garnier Classics, 2019).

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction………………………………………….. ……………………………………..5

A revival of historical theatre……………………………………… ……..8

The archipelago of the “national theatre” ……………………………………….. ……………….11

Historical, political and memorial issues ………………………………………….. .19

A theater at the service and in the image of the nation……………………………..25

Learning history, from college to theatre………………………………….. …..27

Ancient and modern models ………………………………………….. ……………….34

Celebrating the Monarchy………………………………………….. …………………………..40

Bugles and quarrels: the outbursts of patriotism………………………………46

The nation in revolution ………………………………………….. …………………………..54

History torn to pieces………………………………………….. …………..63

Verisimilitude and truth ………………………………………. …………………………65

History and fantasies ………………………………………….. ……………………………..70

Scholarly stance………………………………………… ……………………………………72

Authentic testimony ………………………………………….. ………………………78

Critical deconstruction ………………………………………… ……………………….81

Legendary Float………………………………………….. ………………………….86

Generic and formal hybridizations ………………………………………….. ………95

“The trophies of our ancestors”………………………………………….. ……105

In search of lost origins ………………………………………….. ………..106

“French knights such is the character”……………………………..112

Weak kings and tyrants laid bare ………………………………………. …………..118

National heroines ………………………………………… ……………………………128

The troubadour style: from painting to stage, from stage to painting…..134

The spectacular revolution or the era of Talma……………………………………….. 143

History to the present………………………………………….. ………………………153

Birth of the “historical fact” ………………………………………. ……………..154

From parody to pamphlet: iconoclasm and hullabaloo………………………….163

The public actor or the illusion of allusions……………………………………….. ….169

A series: Henri IV and censorship……………………………………….. ……………..176

The Annals and the Revolution ………………………………………. …………..186

Iconographic notebook

Biodramas and apotheoses:

shadows and lights of commemoration………………………………….193

The scene of national celebrations ………………………………………. ……..194

The Revolution and the work of mourning …………………………………….. ……………199

The memory of works: iconic, literary and musical echoes….206

The pleasures of the embodied portrait ……………………………. ……………….211

Memorial and tribunal of the Enlightenment ………………………… …………..217

Political emotions through the prism of theater……………………………..227

The contrasting “charms” of admiration……………………………………….. ..229

Enthusiasm and Virtue: The Epic Dramatization of the Revolution….236

Indignation: Condemnation and Memorial Rehabilitation…………..243

Terror and Horror: National Theater and Trauma………………………….248

Lamentation and Resentment: The Royalist Martyrology………………..257

Hope and Forgiveness: Poetics and Utopia of Concord………………263

Conclusion………………………………………….. ……………………………………….271

Bibliography………………………………………….. …………………………………….283

Dramatic body ………………………………………… ……………………………..283

Other sources………………………………………… …………………………………….297

Critical bibliography ………………………………………….. …………………………..302

Index of names………………………………………….. ……………………………….323

Index of works………………………………………….. ……………………………331

Thanks………………………………………….. ……………………………..337

Thibaut Julian, A theater for the nation. History on stage (1765-1806)