Letters, Memoirs, and War: Women's Intimate Interpretations of the French Revolution

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Date of Award

Spring 2014


Historians highlight the roles of radical women during the French Revolution and attribute to general populations of women the radical traits that drove much of the fervor of the era. Memoir research reveals that not all women possessed such dangerous views during the Revolution, and instead chose to embrace traditional roles of womanhood that existed prior to the conflict. This thesis explores the degree to which literate, married women with children embraced the changes to society instituted by the French Revolution. By examining autobiographies from women of the Revolution, this thesis explains the various ways women reacted to changes to their Old Regime paternalistic and patriarchal lifestyles and how they viewed republican interferences into their roles as wives and mothers during the French Revolution.


Sharon A. Kowalsky

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | History