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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10 Comments to “Women under Napoléon, a conference of the Burney Society in Paris”

  1. I’ve just bookmarked this article in Diig, i am grateful.

  2. Catherine Delors says:

    Penny, sorry to make you blush! And Christy, I didn’t know you were a Napoleon fan. One couldn’t tell from the era of your novels. :)
    Lucy, yes, I am lucky. If I can make it back to the Continent by then, of course. Hopefully by then travel will have returned to normal…

  3. Lucy says:

    Lucky you!! And Fraser as part of this too…hmmm, well, well…


  4. This truly sounds amazing. I am a huge fan of Napoleon, and I am curious to hear what goes on at this conference…

  5. Penny says:

    I must really, really be getting old. It took me a few extra seconds to understand what you and Arnie were talking about. Color me blushing red.:-)

    seriously I am thinking now about going but not for certain. I know next to nothing
    about this topic in any way you want to interpret it.

    thanks for the elucidation, Catherine, Arnie:-)

  6. Catherine Delors says:

    I will do my best to enjoy myself, Miss Moppet! Judging from the programme, it should not be too difficult…

  7. Catherine Delors says:

    You sound very knowledgeable about Napoleon’s preferences, Arnie! Seriously, this is why I, for one, would have thought of another title. I thought at first it was just my dirty French mind. Apparently not… Nothing wrong with “Women and Napoleon” (in this order, of course.)
    But maybe the innuendo was intended because you may have noted that Flora Fraser is to be a speaker, and she seems to be a proponent of the incest thesis between Napoleon and Pauline. http://blog.catherinedelors.com/napoleon-and-pauline-bonaparte-seen-by-fouche/
    I will report on this, of course.

  8. ….and, I might add, Napoleon’s preferred position. ;)

  9. If I may be permitted a moment of drollery, I think that they may want to consider altering that title, as it might be interpreted very differently than intended, unless, of course, the topic of the program is to discuss all of Napoleon’s mistresses. ;)

    Cheers, ARNIE

  10. Miss Moppet says:

    I’ve read all of Burney’s novels except The Wanderer, which I got through half of and haven’t gone back to for about 15 years. My memory is that it’s quite different to the others.

    Hope you enjoy the conference, Catherine!

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