Women under Napoléon, a conference of the Burney Society in Paris

To be held on June 10 and 11.

Frances Fanny Burney d Arblay

Frances Fanny Burney d'Arblay

Our theme will be Women under Napoléon, says the Burney Letter, with keynote talks from Professor Frédéric Ogee of the Université-Paris Diderot and Professor Peter Sabor, from the Burney Centre at McGill University. There will be five Panels looking at Female Journalists and the Revolution; Fashion, Dress, and Empire; The Wanderer; Madame de Staël and the women who rebelled; and Women and Education. We hope also to have a dramatised performance by Hester Davenport and Karin Fernald of readings taken from women writers on the Revolution.

Burney’s work will be the inspiration, but we hope to use the conference to promote Anglo-French relations (papers will be in both French and English, with translated abstracts available), and to set Burney’s work in the context of other women writers of the period, both French and English. How do her diaries and journals compare with journalists like Mary Wollstonecraft and Helen Maria Williams, who travelled to the French capital in the early 1790s to see for themselves what “revolution” meant? Why was she so unwilling to make the acquaintance of Madame de Staël even in Paris, once she had left behind the stuffy mores of English society? What role did these women writers have in the development of a post-revolutionary aesthetic?

For registration information and a full program, see here. The title of this conference could have been better chosen, but of course I will attend. This sounds most interesting, and is too close to the themes and inspiration of my novels to pass up.

For more information on Frances Burney d’Arblay’s fascinating life and works, see this biography from the Burney Centre at McGill University.

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