Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER XII: Of the Love of Liberty. - Considerations on the Principal Events of the French Revolution (LF ed.)
CHAPTER XII: Of the Love of Liberty. - Germaine de Staël, Considerations on the Principal Events of the French Revolution (LF ed.) 
Considerations on the Principal Events of the French Revolution, newly revised translation of the 1818 English edition, edited, with an introduction and notes by Aurelian Craiutu (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2008).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The copyright to this edition, in both print and electronic forms, is held by Liberty Fund, Inc.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
- A Thinker For Our Times: Madame De Staël, Her Life and Works
- Life of Madame De Staël
- Works of Madame De Staël
- Madame De Staël and Napoléon
- The Ideas of Considerations
- The Reception of Considerations
- Madame De Staël and America
- Note On the Present Edition
- Considerations On the Principal Events of the French Revolution
- Notice By the Editors 1
- Advertisement of the Author
- Part I
- Chapter I: General Reflections.
- Chapter II: Considerations On the History of France.
- Chapter III: On the State of Public Opinion In France At the Accession of Louis XVI.
- Chapter IV: Of the Character of M. Necker As a Public Man.
- Chapter V: M. Necker’s Plans of Finance.
- Chapter VI: M. Necker’s Plans of Administration.
- Chapter VII: Of the American War.
- Chapter VIII: M. Necker’s Retirement From Office In 1781.
- Chapter IX: The Circumstances That Led to the Assembling of the Estates General.—ministry of M. De Calonne.
- Chapter X: Sequel of the Preceding.—ministry of the Archbishop of Toulouse.
- Chapter XI: Did France Possess a Constitution Before the Revolution? 1
- Chapter XII: On the Recall of M. Necker In 1788.
- Chapter XIII: Conduct of the Last Estates General, Held At Paris In 1614.
- Chapter XIV: The Division of the Estates General Into Orders.
- Chapter XV: What Was the Public Feeling of Europe At the Time of Convening the Estates General?
- Chapter XVI: Opening of the Estates General On the 5th of May, 1789.
- Chapter XVII: Of the Resistance of the Privileged Orders to the Demands of the Third Estate In 1789.
- Chapter XVIII: Conduct of the Third Estate During the First Two Months of the Session of the Estates General.
- Chapter XIX: Means Possessed By the Crown In 1789 of Opposing the Revolution.
- Chapter XX: The Royal Session of 23d June, 1789.
- Chapter XXI: Events Caused By the Royal Session of 23d June, 1789.
- Chapter XXII: Revolution of the 14th of July (1789).
- Chapter XXIII: Return of M. Necker.
- Part Ii
- Chapter I: Mirabeau.
- Chapter II: Of the Constituent Assembly After the 14th of July.
- Chapter III: General La Fayette.
- Chapter IV: Of the Good Effected By the Constituent Assembly.
- Chapter V: Liberty of the Press, and State of the Police, During the Time of the Constituent Assembly.
- Chapter VI: Of the Different Parties Conspicuous In the Constituent Assembly.
- Chapter VII: Of the Errors of the Constituent Assembly In Matters of Administration.
- Chapter VIII: Of the Errors of the National Assembly In Regard to the Constitution.
- Chapter IX: Efforts Made By M. Necker With the Popular Party In the Constituent Assembly to Induce It to Establish the English Constitution In France.
- Chapter X: Did the English Government Give Money to Foment Troubles In France?
- Chapter XI: Events of the 5th and 6th of October, 1789.
- Chapter XII: The Constituent Assembly At Paris.
- Chapter XIII: Of the Decrees of the Constituent Assembly In Regard to the Clergy.
- Chapter XIV: Of the Suppression of Titles of Nobility.
- Chapter XV: Of the Royal Authority As It Was Established By the Constituent Assembly.
- Chapter XVI: Federation of 14th July, 1790.
- Chapter XVII: Of the State of Society In Paris During the Time of the Constituent Assembly.
- Chapter XVIII: The Introduction of Assignats, and Retirement of M. Necker.
- Chapter XIX: State of Affairs and of Political Parties In the Winter of 1790–91.
- Chapter XX: Death of Mirabeau.
- Chapter XXI: Departure of the King On the 21st of June, 1791.
- Chapter XXII: Revision of the Constitution.
- Chapter XXIII: Acceptance of the Constitution, Called the Constitution of 1791.
- Part Iii
- Chapter I: On the Emigration.
- Chapter II: Prediction of M. Necker On the Fate of the Constitution of 1791.
- Chapter III: Of the Different Parties Which Composed the Legislative Assembly.
- Chapter IV: Spirit of the Decrees of the Legislative Assembly.
- Chapter V: Of the First War Between France and Europe.
- Chapter VI: Of the Means Employed In 1792 to Establish the Republic.
- Chapter VII: Anniversary of 14th July Celebrated In 1792.
- Chapter VIII: Manifesto of the Duke of Brunswick.
- Chapter IX: Revolution of the 10th of August, 1792—overthrow of the Monarchy.
- Chapter X: Private Anecdotes.
- Chapter XI: The Foreign Troops Driven From France In 1792.
- Chapter XII: Trial of Louis XVI.
- Chapter XIII: Charles I and Louis XVI.
- Chapter XIV: War Between France and England. Mr. Pitt and Mr. Fox.
- Chapter XV: Of Political Fanaticism.
- Chapter XVI: Of the Government Called the Reign of Terror.
- Chapter XVII: The French Army During the Reign of Terror; the Federalists and La Vendée.
- Chapter XVIII: Of the Situation of the Friends of Liberty Out of France During the Reign of Terror.
- Chapter XIX: Fall of Robespierre, and Change of System In the Government.
- Chapter XX: Of the State of Minds At the Moment When the Directorial Republic Was Established In France.
- Chapter XXI: Of the Twenty Months During Which the Republic Existed In France, From November 1795 to the 18th of Fructidor (4th of September) 1797.
- Chapter XXII: Two Singular Predictions Drawn From the History of the Revolution, By M. Necker.
- Chapter XXIII: Of the Army of Italy.
- Chapter XXIV: Of the Introduction of Military Government Into France By the Occurrences of the 18th of Fructidor.
- Chapter XXV: Private Anecdotes.
- Chapter XXVI: Treaty of Campo Formio In 1797. Arrival of General Bonaparte At Paris.
- Chapter XXVII: Preparations of General Bonaparte For Proceeding to Egypt. His Opinion On the Invasion of Switzerland.
- Chapter XXVIII: The Invasion of Switzerland.
- Chapter XXIX: Of the Termination of the Directory.
- Part Iv
- Chapter I: News From Egypt: Return of Bonaparte.
- Chapter II: Revolution of the 18th of Brumaire.
- Chapter III: Of the Establishment of the Consular Constitution.
- Chapter IV: Progress of Bonaparte to Absolute Power.
- Chapter V: Should England Have Made Peace With Bonaparte At His Accession to the Consulate?
- Chapter VI: Of the Solemn Celebration of the Concordat At Nôtre-dame.
- Chapter VII: M. Necker’s Last Work Under the Consulship of Bonaparte.
- Chapter VIII: Of Exile.
- Chapter IX: Of the Last Days of M. Necker.
- Chapter X: Abstract of M. Necker’s Principles On Government.
- Chapter XI: Bonaparte Emperor. the Counter-revolution Effected By Him.
- Chapter XII: Of the Conduct of Napoléon Toward the Continent of Europe.
- Chapter XIII: Of the Means Employed By Bonaparte to Attack England.
- Chapter XIV: On the Spirit of the French Army.
- Chapter XV: Of the Legislation and Administration Under Bonaparte.
- Chapter XVI: Of Literature Under Bonaparte.
- Chapter XVII: A Saying of Bonaparte Printed In the Moniteur.
- Chapter XVIII: On the Political Doctrine of Bonaparte.
- Chapter XIX: Intoxication of Power; Reverses and Abdication of Bonaparte.
- Part V *
- Chapter I: Of What Constitutes Legitimate Royalty.
- Chapter II: Of the Political Doctrine of Some French Emigrants and Their Adherents.
- Chapter III: Of the Circumstances That Render the Representative Government At This Time More Necessary In France Than In Any Other Country.
- Chapter IV: Of the Entry of the Allies Into Paris, and the Different Parties Which Then Existed In France.
- Chapter V: Of the Circumstances Which Accompanied the First Return of the House of Bourbon In 1814.
- Chapter VI: Of the Aspect of France and of Paris During Its First Occupation By the Allies.
- Chapter VII: Of the Constitutional Charter Granted By the King In 1814.
- Chapter VIII: Of the Conduct of the Ministry During the First Year of the Restoration.
- Chapter IX: Of the Obstacles Which Government Encountered During the First Year of the Restoration.
- Chapter X: Of the Influence of Society On Political Affairs In France.
- Chapter XI: Of the System Which Ought to Have Been Followed In 1814, to Maintain the House of Bourbon On the Throne of France.
- Chapter XII: What Should Have Been the Conduct of the Friends of Liberty In 1814?
- Chapter XIII: Return of Bonaparte.
- Chapter XIV: Of the Conduct of Bonaparte On His Return.
- Chapter XV: Of the Fall of Bonaparte.
- Chapter XVI: Of the Declaration of Rights Proclaimed By the Chamber of Representatives, 5th of July, 1815.
- Part Vi
- Chapter I: Are Frenchmen Made to Be Free?
- Chapter II: Cursory View of the History of England.
- Chapter III: Of the Prosperity of England, and the Causes By Which It Has Been Hitherto Promoted.
- Chapter IV: Of Liberty and Public Spirit Among the English.
- Chapter V: Of Knowledge, Religion, and Morals Among the English.
- Chapter VI: Of Society In England, and of Its Connection With Social Order.
- Chapter VII: Of the Conduct of the English Government Outside of England.
- Chapter VIII: Will Not the English Hereafter Lose Their Liberty?
- Chapter IX: Can a Limited Monarchy Have Other Foundations Than That of the English Constitution?
- Chapter X: Of the Influence of Arbitrary Power On the Spirit and Character of a Nation.
- Chapter XI: Of the Mixture of Religion With Politics.
- Chapter XII: Of the Love of Liberty.
In recent years the English-speaking academic world has witnessed a renewed interest in the writings of Alexis de Tocqueville and Benjamin Constant. New English translations of Tocqueville’s and Constant’s political works have been published by prestigious presses, and special issues on their writings have appeared in important academic journals. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Madame de Staël, the other principal figure of nineteenth-century French political thought. None of her major political works are available in English at the present moment, and she remains an unknown figure among political theorists, vaguely linked to Constant, with whom she had a close intellectual and personal relationship.
The lack of recognition given to Madame de Staël’s political writings in the Anglo-American world is both disappointing and surprising given her stature as one of the greatest writers and political thinkers of the nineteenth century. Readers interested in the debates on the events and legacy of the French Revolution can only regret the absence of an English translation of Staël’s On the Current Circumstances Which Can End the Revolution. Similarly, they have been deprived of access to the old English edition of her Considerations on the Principal Events of the French Revolution because it has been out of print for almost two centuries (the book appeared in 1818). Perhaps even more surprising is the neglect of Staël’s political works by many feminists, a regrettable oversight that it is hoped will be corrected in the years ahead. Her works shed original light on the central role played by women in French cultural and political life and suggest a novel way of thinking about the role of women in society that challenges some of the assumptions espoused by contemporary feminist writers in the Anglo-American world.
The Liberty Fund edition of Considerations on the Principal Events of the French Revolution seeks to fill this important gap. Its purpose is to familiarize English-speaking readers with a writer whose unique and seductive voice retains a significant relevance today. Few titles are better suited to promote the principles of political freedom, responsibility, and open society than Considerations. By reprinting a substantially revised and corrected English translation of Considerations, we are making accessible to a large audience a neglected classic of political thought that will contribute to contemporary debates on constitutionalism, representative government, and political moderation. Madame de Staël’s work sheds light on what it takes to build a society of free and responsible individuals and explores other important related issues such as the prerequisites of liberty, limited power and the rule of law, the relation between social order and political order, the dependence of liberty on morality and religion, and the institutional foundations of a free regime. Her political writings offer a powerful critique of fanaticism and remind us that moderation and reason should always be allied with responsibility, respect for individual rights, and decency.
The story behind the writing and publication of Considerations is not devoid of interesting ambiguities and speculations. We know that Madame de Staël had revised the first two volumes, but not the third one (containing parts V and VI), prior to her untimely death in 1817. Although the two French editors claimed that the published text of Considerations was “perfectly conformable” with Staël’s corrected manuscript, scholars agree that the original manuscript was altered extensively. The exact nature of the changes remains unclear and poses a considerable challenge to any interpreter of Staël’s work. As the late Simone Balayé pointed out, a considerable number of manuscripts of Considerations can be found in different archives. A critical edition of the book comparing the different versions of the manuscript, similar to the two critical editions of De l’Allemagne and Dix d’années d’exil coordinated by the Comtesse de Pange and Simone Balayé, is long overdue.
Although the Liberty Fund edition follows the text of the 1818 English translation (which was originally published in three volumes), it is a substantially revised version that seeks to correct the errors and archaisms of the original translation. As editor, I have made numerous changes in the translation with a view to offering a more faithful version of the original text. In doing so, I have followed the French text of the 1983 Godechot edition, published by Tallandier. The notes of the Tallandier edition were valuable in preparing my own notes. In the present work, the original footnotes of both Madame de Staël and the first French editors (Auguste de Staël and Victor de Broglie) appear at the bottom of the page preceded by an asterisk. My explanatory footnotes, preceded by an arabic number to distinguish them from those of the author and original French editors, are meant to provide a minimal historical background to the general English-speaking reader. Typographical errors and archaic punctuation in the original translation have been corrected silently; English spellings have been Americanized. The English translators occasionally broke Staël’s extremely long paragraphs for clarity; for the most part, we have kept the format of the original translation. In addition, the editors of the 1818 English translation added quotation marks to ambiguous quotations from various authors that were not identified in the original French. I have attempted to give the proper citations where possible and eliminated the quotation marks if a proper citation could not be found.
Notice by the Editors
Of the Love of Liberty.
The necessity of free governments, that is to say, of limited monarchies in great states and independent republics in those which are small, is so evident that we are tempted to believe no one can refuse sincerely to admit this truth; and yet, when we meet with men of good faith who combat it, we would wish, for our own satisfaction, to account for their motives. Liberty has three classes of opponents in France: the nobles who consider honor as consisting in passive obedience and the nobles who possess more reflection but less candor, and believe that the interests of their own aristocracy are identified with the interests of absolute power; the men whom the French Revolution has disgusted with the ideas which it profaned; finally, the Bonapartists, the Jacobins, all those devoid of political consciousness. The nobles who connect honor with passive obedience altogether confound the spirit of ancient chivalry with that of the courtiers of the last centuries. The ancient knights doubtless were ready to die for their king, and so would every warrior for his leader; but as we have already said, they were by no means the partisans of absolute power: they sought to encompass that power with barriers, and placed their glory in defending a liberty which, though aristocratical, was still liberty. As to the nobles who are convinced that the privileges of the aristocracy must now rest upon the despotism which they once were instrumental in limiting, we may say to them, as in the romance of Waverly: “What concerns you is not so much whether James Stuart shall be King, as whether Fergus Mac Ivor shall be Earl.” The institution of a peerage accessible to merit is to nobility what the English constitution is to monarchy. It is the only mode of preserving either the one or the other: for we live in an age in which the world does not readily imagine that the minority, and a very small minority, can have a right which is not for the advantage of the majority. A few years ago, the Sultan of Persia had an account given to him of the English constitution by the ambassador of England at his court. After having listened to it and, as we shall see, understood it tolerably well: “I can conceive,” he said, “that the order of things which you describe to me is better framed than the government of Persia for the duration and happiness of your empire; but it seems to me much less conducive to the enjoyment of the monarch.” This was an accurate statement of the question; only that it is better even for the monarch to be guided in the administration of affairs by public opinion than incessantly to run the risk of being in opposition to it. Justice is the aegis of all and of everyone: but in its quality of justice, it is the great number which has the preferable claim to protection.
We have next to speak of those whom the misfortunes and the crimes of the French Revolution have terrified, and who fly from one extreme to the other, as if the arbitrary power of an individual were the only sure protection against demagogy. It was thus that they exalted the tyranny of Bonaparte, and it is thus that they would render Louis XVIII a despot if his superior wisdom did not protect him from it. Tyranny is an upstart, and despotism a grandee; but both are equally offensive to human reason. After having witnessed the servility with which Bonaparte was obeyed, it is difficult to conceive that the republican spirit is that which is to be dreaded in France. The diffusion of knowledge and the nature of things will bring liberty to France; but the nation assuredly will not spontaneously show itself either factious or turbulent.
Since for so many ages every generous soul has loved liberty; since the noblest actions have been inspired by her; since antiquity and the history of modern times exhibit to us so many prodigies effected by public spirit; since we have seen so lately what nations can do; since every reflecting writer has proclaimed; since not one political work of lasting reputation can be cited which is not animated by this sentiment; since the fine arts, poetry, the masterpieces of the theater, which are intended to excite emotion in the human heart, all exalt public liberty; what are we to say of those little men, great only in folly, who, with an accent insipid and affected as their whole being, declare to you that it is very bad taste to trouble yourselves with politics; that after the horrors which we have witnessed nobody cares for liberty; that popular elections are an institution altogether vulgar; that the people always make a bad choice; and that genteel persons are not suited to go, as in England, and mingle with the populace? It is bad taste to trouble ourselves with politics. Good heavens! Of what then, good heaven, are those young people to think who were educated under the government of Bonaparte merely to go and fight, without any instruction, without any interest in literature or the fine arts? Since they can have neither a new idea nor a sound judgment on such subjects, they would, at least, be men if they were to occupy themselves with their country, if they were to deem themselves citizens, if their life were to be in any way useful. But what would they substitute for the politics which they affect to proscribe? Some hours passed in the antechamber of ministers to obtain places which they are not qualified to fill; some trivial parlor conversations, beneath the understanding of even the silliest of the women to whom they address them. When they were encountering death they might escape without blame, because there is always greatness in courage: but in a country which, thanks to Heaven! will be at peace, to have no attainments beyond the level of a chamberlain, and to be unable to impart other knowledge or dignity to their native land—this is bad taste indeed. The time is gone by when young Frenchmen could set the fashion in everything. They have still, it is true, the frivolity of former days; but they have no longer the graces on account of which that frivolity might be pardoned.
After the horrors which we have witnessed, it is said, nobody now wishes to hear the name of liberty. If sensible characters give themselves up to an involuntary and distempered hatred (for so must it be named, since it depends on certain recollections, certain associations of terror, which it is impossible to vanquish), we would say to them with a poet of the present day, that liberty must not be compelled to stab herself like Lucretia because she has been violated. We would bid them remember that the massacre of St. Bartholomew has not caused the proscription of the Catholic faith. We would tell them, in short, that the fate of truth is not dependent on the men who put this or that motto on their banners, and that good sense has been given to every individual to judge of things as they are in themselves, and not according to accidental circumstances. The guilty of all times have tried to avail themselves of a generous pretext in order to excuse bad actions: there are few crimes in the world which their authors have not ascribed to honor, to religion, or to liberty. It does not follow, I think, that it is on that account necessary to proscribe whatever is beautiful upon earth. In politics especially, as there is room for fanaticism as well as for bad faith, for devotedness as well as for personal interest, we are subject to fatal errors when we do not have a certain force of understanding and of soul. If on the day after the death of Charles I, an Englishman, cursing with reason that crime, had implored Heaven that there might never again be freedom in England, we might certainly have felt an interest in that emotion of a good heart which in its agitation confounded all the pretexts of a great crime with the crime itself; and would have proscribed, had it been able, even the sun, which had risen on that day as usual. But if so unthinking a prayer had been heard, England would not at this day serve as an example to the world; the universal monarchy of Bonaparte would be weighing Europe to the ground; for, without the aid of this free nation, Europe would not have been in a situation to work out her own deliverance. Such arguments and many others might be addressed to persons whose very prejudices merit respect because they spring from the affections of the heart. But what are we to say of those who treat the friends of liberty as Jacobins, while they themselves have been ready instruments in the hands of the imperial power? We were forced, they say, to be so. Ah! I know some who could likewise speak of constraint, and who yet escaped it. But since you have allowed yourselves to be compelled, at least allow us to endeavor to give you a free constitution, in which the empire of the law will prevent anything wrong from being required of you: for, as appears to me, you are in danger of giving way too readily to circumstances. They whom nature has endued with a disposition to resist, have no reason to fear despotism; but you, who have crouched under it so well, should wish that at no time, under no prince, in no shape may it ever again touch you.
The epicureans of our days would wish that knowledge might improve our physical existence without exciting intellectual development; they would have the Third Estate labor to render social life more agreeable and comfortable without desiring to benefit from the advantages which it has gained for all. In former days the general style of life had little delicacy or refinement, and the relations in society were likewise much more simple and stable. But now that commerce has multiplied everything, if you do not give motives of emulation to talent, the love of money will fill the vacancy. You will not raise up the castles of feudal chieftains from their ruins; you will not recall to life the princesses who with their own hands spun the vests of the warriors; you will not even restore the reign of Louis XIV. The present times do not admit of that sort of gravity and respect which then gave so much ascendancy to that court. But you will have corruption, and corruption without refinement of mind; the lowest degradation to which the human species can fall. It is not then between knowledge and the ancient system of feudal manners that we are to choose, but between the desire of distinction and the eagerness to become rich.
Examine the adversaries of freedom in every country, you will find among them a few deserters from the camp of men of talent, but in general, you will see that the enemies of freedom are the enemies of knowledge and intelligence. They are proud of their deficiency in this respect; and one must agree that such a negative triumph can be easily achieved.
The secret has been found of presenting the friends of liberty as the enemies of religion: there are two pretexts for the singular injustice which would forbid to the noblest of sentiment of this earth, the alliance with Heaven. The first is the Revolution; as it was effected in the name of philosophy, an inference has thence been drawn that to love liberty it is necessary to be an atheist. Certainly, it is because the French did not unite religion to liberty that their revolution deviated so soon from its primitive direction. There might be certain dogmas of the Catholic Church which were not in agreement with the principles of freedom; passive obedience to the Pope was as difficult to be defended as passive obedience to the King. But Christianity has in truth brought liberty upon earth; justice toward the oppressed, respect for the unfortunate; finally, equality before God, of which equality under the law is only an imperfect image. It is by confusion of thought, voluntary in some, blind in others, that endeavors have been made to represent the privileges of the nobility and the absolute power of the throne as doctrines of religion. The forms of social organization can have no concern with religion except by their influence on the maintenance of justice toward all, and of the morals of each individual. The rest belongs to the science of this world.
It is time that twenty-five years, of which fifteen belong to military despotism, should no longer place themselves as a phantom between history and us, and should no longer deprive us of all the lessons and of all the examples which it offers us. Is Aristides to be forgotten, and Phocion, and Epaminondas in Greece; Regulus, Cato, and Brutus at Rome; Tell in Switzerland; Egmont and Nassau in Holland; Sidney and Russell in England; because a country that had long been governed by arbitrary power was delivered, during a revolution, to men whom arbitrary power had corrupted? What is there so extraordinary in such an event as to change the course of the stars, that is, to give a retrograde motion to truth, which was before advancing with history to enlighten the human race? By what public sentiment shall we be moved henceforth if we are to reject the love of liberty? Old prejudices have now no influence upon men except from calculation; they are defended only by those who have a personal interest in defending them. What man in France desires absolute power from pure love or for its own sake? Inform yourself of the personal situation of its partisans, and you will soon know the motives of their doctrine. On what then would the fraternal tie of human associations be founded if no enthusiasm were to be developed in the heart? Who would be proud of being a Frenchman after having seen liberty destroyed by tyranny, tyranny broken to pieces by foreigners, unless the laurels of war were at least rendered honorable by the conquest of liberty? We should have to contemplate a mere struggle between the selfishness of those who were privileged by birth and the selfishness of those who are privileged by events. But where would then be France? Who could boast of having served her, since nothing would remain in the heart, either of past times or of the new reform?
Liberty! Let us repeat her name with so much the more energy that the men who should pronounce it, at least as an apology, keep it at a distance through flattery: let us repeat it without fear of wounding any power that deserves respect; for all that we love, all that we honor is included in it. Nothing but liberty can arouse the soul to the interests of social order. The assemblies of men would be nothing but associations for commerce or agriculture if the life of patriotism did not excite individuals to sacrifice themselves for their fellows. Chivalry was a warlike brotherhood which satisfied that thirst for self-devotion which is felt by every generous heart. The nobles were companions in arms, bound together by duty and honor; but since the progress of the human mind has created nations, in other words, since all men share in some degree in the same advantages, what would become of the human species were it not for the sentiment of liberty? Why should the patriotism of a Frenchman begin at this frontier and cease at that, if there were not within this compass hopes, enjoyments, an emulation, a security which make him love his native land as much through the genuine feelings of the soul as through habit? Why should the name of France awaken so invincible an emotion if there were no other ties among the inhabitants of this fine country than the privileges of some and the subjection of the rest?
Wherever you meet with respect for human nature, affection for fellow-creatures, and that energy of independence which can resist everything upon earth and prostrate itself only before God; there you behold man the image of his Creator, there you feel at the bottom of the soul an emotion which so penetrates its very substance that it cannot deceive you with respect to truth. And you, noble Frenchmen, for whom honor was freedom, you who by a long series of exploits and greatness ought to consider yourselves as the elite of the human race, permit the nation to raise itself to a level with you; she, too, has rights of conquest; every Frenchman may now call himself a gentleman if every gentleman is not willing to be called a citizen.
It is indeed a remarkable circumstance that throughout the world, wherever a certain depth of thought exists, there is not to be found an enemy of freedom. As the celebrated Humboldt has traced upon the mountains of the New World the different degrees of height which permit the development of this or that plant, so might we predict what extent, what elevation of spirit is requisite to enable a man to conceive the great interests of mankind in their full connection and in all their truth. The evidence of these opinions is such that they who have once admitted them can never renounce them, and that from one end of the world to the other, the friends of freedom maintain communication by knowledge, as religious men by sentiments; or rather knowledge and sentiment unite in the love of freedom as in that of the Supreme Being. Is the question the abolition of the slave trade, or the liberty of the press, or religious toleration? Jefferson thinks as La Fayette; La Fayette, as Wilberforce; and even they who are now no more are reckoned in the holy league. Is it then from the calculations of interest, is it from bad motives that men so superior, in situations and countries so different, should be in such harmony in their political opinions? Without doubt knowledge is requisite to enable us to soar above prejudices: but it is in the soul also that the principles of liberty are founded; they make the heart palpitate like love and friendship, they come from nature, they ennoble the character. One connected series of virtues and ideas seems to form that golden chain described by Homer, which in binding man to Heaven delivers him from all the fetters of tyranny.
Select Bibliography on Madame de Staël
- Madame de Staël. Oeuvres complètes de Mme la baronne de Staël publiées par son fils. Paris: Treuttel et Würtz, 1821.
- Considérations sur la Révolution française. Edited by J. Godechot. Paris: Tallandier, 1983.
- Corinne ou l’Italie. Edited by S. Balayé. Paris: Gallimard, 1807, 1985.
- De la littérature. Edited by G. Gengembre and J. Goldzink. Paris: Flammarion, 1991.
- De l’Allemagne. Critical edition by S. Balayé. 5 vols. Paris: Hachette, 1958–1960.
- Delphine. Edited by B. Didier. 2 vols. Paris: Flammarion, 2000.
- Des Circonstances actuelles qui peuvent terminer la Révolution et des principes qui doivent fonder la république en France. Critical edition edited by L. Omacini. Paris and Geneva: Droz, 1979.
- Dix années d’exil. Critical edition edited by S. Balayé and M. Bonifacio. Paris: Fayard, 1996. English edition: Ten Years of Exile. Translated by Avriel H. Goldberger. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2000. A previous English translation by Doris Beik was published under the same title by Saturday Review in 1972.
- For a representative selection from Madame de Staël’s rich correspondence, see Georges Solovieff, ed., Madame de Staël, ses amis, ses correspondants. Choix de lettres (1778–1817). Paris: Klincksieck, 1970. Madame de Staël’s correspondence with Dupont de Nemours was edited and translated into English by James F. Marshall as De Staël–Dupont Letters. Correspondence of Madame de Staël and Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours and of Other Members of the Necker and du Pont Families. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1968.
- Cahiers Staëliens. Vols. 1–54. Published by the Société des études staëliennes (founded in 1929 at Coppet; http://www.stael.org/) and Éditions Honoré Champion, this series is an essential source of information on Staël’s life and works. Over the years the society has sponsored many colloquia whose proceedings have been published as separate volumes of Cahiers Staëliens. The society’s Web site contains many valuable bibliographical references (more than 6,000 entries) that are essential to any student of Staël’s works and life.
- For an overview of the Coppet group, see Coppet, creuset de l’esprit libéral: les idées politiques et constitutionnelles du group de Madame de Staël, Coppet colloquium, May 15–16, 1998, edited by Lucien Jaume (Aix-en-Provence and Paris: Presses Universitaires d’Aix-Marseille et Economica, 2000).
MAJOR SECONDARY WORKS AND BIBLIOGRAPHIES
- Bailleul, Jacques-Charles. Examen critique de l’ouvrage posthume de Mme. la Bnne. de Staël, ayant pour titre: Considérations sur les principaux événemens de la Révolution française. 2 vols. Paris: Ant. Bailleul, 1818.
- Balayé, Simone. Les Carnets de voyage de Madame de Staël. Geneva: Droz, 1971.
- ——. Madame de Staël: Lumières et Liberté. Paris: Klincksieck, 1979.
- Berger, Morroe, trans. and ed. Politics, Literature, and National Character, by Germaine de Staël. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction, 2000.
- Bonald, Louis de. Observations sur l’ouvrage de Madame la baronne de Staël: considérations sur les principaux événemens de la révolution française. Paris: A. Le Clere, 1818. A new French edition was published under the title La vraie Révolution: réponse à Madame de Staël, edited by Michel Toda. Etampes: Clovis, 1997.
- Bredin, Jean-Denis. Une singulière famille: Jacques Necker, Suzanne Necker et Germaine de Staël. Paris: Fayard, 1999.
- Diesbach, Ghislain de. Madame de Staël. Paris: Perrin, 1983.
- ——. Necker ou la faillite de la vertu. Paris: Perrin, 1978.
- Fairweather, Maria. Madame de Staël. London: Constable, 2005.
- Folkenflick, Vivian, ed. and trans. An Extraordinary Woman: Selected Writings of Germaine de Staël. New York: Columbia University Press, 1987.
- Guillemin, H. Madame de Staël, Benjamin Constant et Napoléon. Paris: Plon, 1959.
- Gutwirth, Madelyn, Avriel Goldberger, and Karyna Szmurlo, eds. Germaine de Staël: Crossing the Borders. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1991.
- Gwynne, Griffith E. Madame de Staël et la Révolution française. 2nd ed. Paris: Nizet, 2005.
- Haussonville, Comte de. Madame de Staël et Necker d’après leur correspondance inédite. Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 1925.
- Hawkins, Richmond Laurin. Madame de Staël and the United States. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1930.
- Herrold, Christopher. Mistress to an Age: A Life of Madame de Staël. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1958.
- Baker, Keith M., ed. The Old Regime and the French Revolution. Vol. 7 of University of Chicago Readings in Western Civilization. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987.
- Duguit, L., H. Monnier, and R. Bonnard, eds. Les Constitutions et les principales lois politiques de la France depuis 1789. Paris: Librairie Générale de Droit et de Jurisprudence, 1952.
- Hampsher-Monk, Iain, ed. The Impact of the French Revolution: Texts from Britain in the 1790s. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
- Stewart, John Hall, ed. A Documentary Survey of the French Revolution. New York: Macmillan, 1951.
- Acton (Lord). [John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton.] Lectures on the French Revolution. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2000.
- Alexander, Robert. Bonapartism and Revolutionary Tradition in France. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.
- Alexander, Robert. Rewriting the French Revolutionary Tradition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
- Andress, David. The Terror: The Merciless War for Freedom in Revolutionary France. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006.
- Avenel, Henri. Histoire de la presse française depuis 1789 jusqu’à à nos jours. Paris: Flammarion, 1900.
- Baker, Keith. Condorcet: From Natural Philosophy to Social Mathematics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982.
- ——. Inventing the French Revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
- Baker, Keith, ed. The French Revolution and the Creation of Modern Political Culture. Vol. 1: The Political Culture of the Old Regime. Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1987.
- Baldensperger, Fernand. Le mouvement des idées dans l’émigration française, 1789–1815. Paris, 1924.
- Barnave, Antoine. Power, Property, and History: Barnave’s Introduction to the French Revolution and Other Writings. Translated and edited by Emanuel Chill. New York: Harper, 1971.
- Beck, Thomas D. French Legislators, 1800–1834: A Study in Quantitative History. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974.
- Beik, Paul H., ed. The French Revolution. New York: Harper and Row, 1970.
- Belanger, Claude, et al. Histoire générale de la presse française. Vol. 1. Paris: PUF, 1967.
- Bénétruy, J. L’atelier de Mirabeau: Quatre proscrits Genevois dans la tourmente révolutionnaire. Geneva: Société d’Histoire et d’Archéologie, 1962.
- Bergeron, Louis. France Under Napoleon. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981.
- Bertier de Sauvigny, Guillaume de. The Bourbon Restoration. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1966.
- Blythe, James M. Ideal Government and the Mixed Constitution in the Middle Ages. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992.
- Brewer, John. The Pleasures of the Imagination: English Culture in the Eighteenth Century. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997.
- Brix, Michel. “Les Considérations sur la Révolution française et la philosophie de l’histoire.” In Annales Benjamin Constant. 31–32. Le groupe de Coppet et l’histoire. Actes du VIIIe colloque de Coppet (Chateau de Coppet, 5–8 juillet 2006). Lausanne & Genève: Institut Benjamin Constant & Éditions Slatkine, 2007, 203–14.
- Brock, Michael. The Great Reform Act. London: Hutchinson University Library, 1973.
- Burke, Edmund. Further Reflections on the Revolution in France. Edited by Daniel E. Ritchie. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1992.
- ——. Select Works of Edmund Burke. Vol. 2: Reflections on the Revolution in France. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1999.
- ——. Select Works of Edmund Burke. Vol. 3: Letters on a Regicide Peace. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1999.
- Carré de Malberg, Raymond. Contribution à la théorie générale de l’État. 2 vols. Paris: Éditions du CNRS, 1962.
- Chaussinand-Nogaret, Guy, ed. Mirabeau entre le roi et la Révolution: Notes à la cour suivies de Discours. Paris: Hachette, 1986.
- Chinard, Gilbert. “La correspondance de Madame de Staël avec Jefferson.” Revue de littérature comparée 2 (1922).
- Constant, Benjamin. Commentaire sur l’ouvrage de Filangeri. Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 2004.
- ——. De la liberté chez les modernes. Edited by Marcel Gauchet. Paris: Hachette, 1980.
- ——. “De Madame de Staël et de ses ouvrages.” In Oeuvres. Edited by Alfred Roulin. Paris: Gallimard, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, 1957, 825–52.
- ——. Fragments d’un ouvrage abandonné sur la possibilité d’une constitution republicaine dans un grand pays. Edited by H. Grange. Paris: Aubier, 1991.
- ——. Political Writings. Edited and translated by Biancamaria Fontana. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988.
- Cooper, Duff. Talleyrand. New York: Harpers, 1932.
- Craiutu, Aurelian. Liberalism Under Siege: The Political Thought of the French Doctrinaires. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, Rowman and Littlefield, 2003.
- Craveri, Benedetta. The Age of Conversation. New York: New York Review Books, 2006.
- Daudet, Ernest. Histoire de l’émigration pendant la Révolution française. 3 vols. Paris, 1904–7.
- Doyle, William. Origins of the French Revolution. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
- ——. The Oxford History of the French Revolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
- Echeverria, Durand. “The Pre-revolutionary Influence of Rousseau’s Contrat Social.” Journal of the History of Ideas (1972): 551–52.
- Egret, Jean. The French Prerevolution, 1787–1788. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977.
- ——. Necker, ministre de Louis XVI. Paris: Champion, 1975.
- Ellis, Harold A. Boulainvilliers and the French Monarchy: Aristocratic Politics in Early Eighteenth-Century France. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1988.
- Fontana, Biancamaria. Rethinking the Politics of Commercial Society: The Edinburgh Review, 1802–1832. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
- Forsyth, Murray. Reason and Revolution: The Political Thought of the Abbé Sieyès. Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1987.
- Freeden, Michael. Ideology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.
- Furet, François. Interpreting the French Revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981.
- ——. Revolutionary France: 1770–1880. Oxford: Blackwell, 1995.
- Furet, François, and Mona Ozouf, eds. A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1989.
- Furet, François, and Ran Halévi, eds. Orateurs de la Révolution française. Vol. 1: Les Constituants. Paris: Gallimard, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, 1989.
- Gauchet, Marcel. La Révolution des droits de l’homme. Paris: Gallimard, 1989.
- ——. “Staël.” In A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution, edited by François Furet and Mona Ozouf. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1989.
- Gautier, Paul. Madame de Staël et Napoléon. Paris: Plon, 1902.
- Gengembre, Gérard, and Jean Goldzinck. “Causalités historiques et écriture de l’histoire dans Considérations sur la Révolution française.” In Annales Benjamin Constant. 31–32. Le groupe de Coppet et l’histoire. Actes du VIIIe colloque de Coppet (Chateau de Coppet, 5–8 juillet 2006). Lausanne & Genève: Institut Benjamin Constant & Éditions Slatkine, 2007, 215–26.
- Godechot, Jacques. La contre-révolution. Paris: PUF, 1961.
- ——. La grande nation: l’expansion révolutionnaire de la France dans le monde de 1789 à 1799. Paris: Aubier Montaigne, 1983.
- ——. Les institutions de la France sous la Révolution et l’empire. 2nd ed. Paris: PUF, 1968.
- Gorce, Pierre de la. La Restauration: Louis XVIII. Paris: Plon, 1926.
- Gottschalk, Louis R., and Margaret Maddox. La Fayette in the French Revolution. Vol. 1: Through the October Days. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969. Vol. 2: From the October Days Through the Federation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973.
- Grange, Henri. Les idées de Necker. Paris: Klincksieck, 1974.
- Greer, Donald. The Incidence of the Emigration During the French Revolution. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1951.
- ——. The Incidence of the Terror During the French Revolution: A Statistical Interpretation. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1935.
- Griffith, Robert. Le Centre perdu: Malouet et les “monarchiens” dans la Révolution française. Grenoble: Presses Universitaires de Grenoble, 1988.
- Gross, Jean-Pierre. “La Constitution de l’an III: Boissy d’Anglas et la naissance du libéralisme constitutionnel.” Annales historiques de la Révolution française, no. 323. http://ahrf.revues.org/document1028.html.
- ——. Saint-Just: sa politique et ses missions. Paris: Bibliothèque nationale, 1976.
- Guéniffey, Patrice. Le nombre et la raison. La Révolution française et les élections. Paris: Éditions de l’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, 1993.
- Guizot, François. L’amour dans le mariage. Étude historique. Paris: Hachette, 1855.
- ——. Histoire de la civilisation en Europe suivie de Philosophie politique: de la souveraineté. Edited by Pierre Rosanvallon. Paris: Hachette, 1985.
- ——. Histoire de la civilisation en France depuis la chute de l’Empire Romain. Paris: Didier, 1859.
- ——. Histoire de la Révolution d’Angleterre depuis Charles I à Charles II. 2 vols., 1826–27. English translation, 2 vols., Oxford, 1838.
- ——. The History of Civilisation in Europe. Edited by Larry Siedentop and translated by William Hazlitt. London: Penguin, 1997.
- ——. History of the Origins of Representative Government in Europe. Edited by Aurelian Craiutu. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2002.
- ——. Memoirs to Illustrate the History of My Time. Vol. I. Translated by J. W. Cole. London: R. Bentley, 1858.
- Hamilton, Jill. Marengo: The Myth of Napoleon’s Horse. London: Fourth Estate, 2000.
- Hatin, Eugène. Histoire politique et littéraire de la presse en France. Paris: Poulet-Malassis et de Broise, 1861.
- Haydon, Colin, and William Doyle, eds. Robespierre. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
- Hesse, Carla. The Other Enlightenment. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.
- Hoffman, Ronald, and Peter J. Albert, eds. The Bill of Rights: Government Proscribed. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1997.
- Hume, David. The History of England. 6 vols. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1983.
- Hurt, John J. Louis XIV and the Parlements: The Assertion of Royal Authority. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002.
- Jainchill, Andrew. “The Constitution of the Year III and the Persistence of Classical Republicanism.” French Historical Studies 26, no. 3 (2003): 399–435.
- Jaume, Lucien. “Coppet, creuset du libéralisme comme ‘culture morale.’” In Coppet, creuset de l’esprit libéral. Paris: Presses Universitaires d’Aux-Marseille, 2000, 225–39.
- Jennings, Jeremy. “Conceptions of England and Its Constitution in Nineteenth-Century French Political Thought.” Historical Journal 29, no. 1 (1986): 65–85.
- Jordan, David. The King’s Trial: Louis XVI vs. the French Revolution. 2nd ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004.
- Kahan, Alan. The Political Culture of Limited Suffrage. London: Palgrave, 2003.
- Kennedy, Michael L. The Jacobin Clubs in the French Revolution: The First Years. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982.
- Kenyon, J. P., ed. Halifax, Complete Works. London: Penguin, 1969.
- Lahmer, Marc. La constitution américaine dans le débat français: 1795–1848. Paris: L’Harmattan, 2001.
- Lefebre, George. The Thermidorians and the Directory: Two Phases of the French Revolution. Translated by Robert Baldick. New York: Random House, 1964.
- Livois, René de. Histoire de la presse française. Vol. 1: Des origins à 1881. Paris: Les Temps de la Presse, 1965.
- Lucas-Dubreton, J. The Restoration and the July Monarchy. New York: Putnam’s, 1929.
- Luttrell, Barbara. Mirabeau. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1990.
- Maistre, Joseph de. Considerations on France. Edited and translated by Richard Lebrun. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.
- Malouet, Victor. Mémoires. 2 vols. Paris: Didier, 1868.
- Manent, Pierre. An Intellectual History of Liberalism. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994.
- Margerison, Kenneth. “History, Representative Institutions, and Political Rights in the French Pre-revolution (1787–1789).” French Historical Studies 15:1 (1987): 68–97.
- Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws. Translated by Anne Cohler, Basia Miller, and Harold Stone. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
- Mounier, J.-J. Considérations sur les gouvernements. Paris, 1789.
- Mousnier, Roland. Les institutions de la France sous la monarchie absolue, 1598–1789. 2 vols. Paris: PUF, 1974–78.
- Necker, Jacques. Compte rendu. Paris, 1781.
- ——. De la Révolution française. Part I. Republished in Oeuvres complètes de M. Necker, vol. 9. Edited by Auguste de Staël. Paris: Treuttel et Würtz, 1821.
- ——. Dernières vues de politique et de finance (1802). Republished in Oeuvres complètes de M. Necker, vol. 11. Edited by Auguste de Staël. Paris: Treuttel et Würtz, 1821.
- ——. Réflexions présentées à la nation française: sure le proces intente a Louis XVI. Paris: Volland, 1792.
- Oechslin, J.-J. Le mouvement ultra-royaliste sous la Restauration. Paris: Librairie Générale de Droit et de Jurisprudence, 1960.
- Ozouf, Mona. “L’opinion publique.” In The French Revolution and the Creation of Modern Political Culture. Vol. 1: The Political Culture of the Old Regime, Edited by K. Baker. Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1987.
- ——. Women’s Words: Essay on French Singularity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997.
- Palmer, R. R. Twelve Who Ruled. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1941. New ed. 1970.
- Pochmann, Henry A. German Culture in America. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1957.
- Rémond, René. The Right Wing in France: From 1815 to De Gaulle. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1968.
- Rémusat, Charles. Mémoires de ma vie. Vol. 1. Ed. Charles-H. Pouthas. Paris: Plon, 1958.
- Rials, Stéphane. Révolution et contre-révolution au XIXème siècle. Paris: Albatros, 1987.
- Ridolfi, R. The Life of Niccolò Machiavelli. London: Routledge and K. Paul, 1963.
- Rosanvallon, Pierre. La monarchie impossible. Les Chartes de 1814 et de 1830. Paris: Fayard, 1994.
- Schwoerer, Lois G. “William, Lord Russell: The Making of a Martyr, 1683–1983.” Journal of British Studies 24, no. 1 (January 1985): 41–71.
- Scurr, Ruth. Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution. New York: Henry Holt, 2006.
- Sieyès, Emmanuel Joseph. Political Writings. Edited and translated by Michael Sonenscher. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2003.
- Soboul, Albert. Le procès de Louis XVI. Paris: Julliard, 1966.
- Solovieff, Georges, ed. Madame de Staël, ses amis, ses correspondants. Choix de lettres (1778–1817). Paris: Klincksieck, 1970.
- Spillman, George. Napoléon et l’Islam. Paris: Academique Perrin, 1969.
- Taine, Hippolyte. The French Revolution. Translated by John Durand. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2002.
- Takeda, Chinatsu. “Deux origines du courant libéral en France.” In Revue française d’histoire des idées politiques (2003): 18, no. 2, 233–57.
- Ticknor, George. Life, Letters, and Journals of George Ticknor. 2 vols. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1909.
- Tilly, Charles. The Vendée. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1964.
- Tocqueville, Alexis de. The Old Régime and the Revolution. Vol. 1. Translated by Alan S. Kahan. Edited by F. Furet and F. Mélonio. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.
- ——. Selected Letters on Politics and Society. Edited by Roger Boesche and translated by Roger Boesche and James Toupin. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985.
- Tribouillard, Stéphanie. “Les Considérations sur la Révolution française et l’historiographie libérale de la Révolution du premier XIXe siécle.” In Annales Benjamin Constant. 31–32. Le groupe de Coppet et l’histoire. Actes du VIIIe colloque de Coppet (Chateau de Coppet, 5–8 juillet 2006). Lausanne & Genève: Institut Benjamin Constant & Éditions Slatkine, 2007, 227–48.
- Valensise, Marina. “The French Constitution in Pre-revolutionary Debate.” Journal of Modern History 60 (suppl.) (1988): 22–57.
- Van Kley, Dale. “New Wine in Old Wineskins: Continuity and Rupture in the Pamphlet Debate of the French Prerevolution, 1787–1789.” French Historical Studies 17, no. 2 (1991): 447–65.
- Vaulabelle, Achille de. Histoire des deux Restaurations jusqu’à l’avénement de Louis-Philippe. Vols. 4 and 5. Paris: Perrotin, 1855 and 1856.
- Vile, M. J. C. Constitutionalism and the Separation of Powers. 2nd ed. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1998.
- Walzer, Michael, ed. Regicide and Revolution: Speeches at the Trial of Louis XVI. New York: Columbia University Press, 1993.
- Waresquiel, Emmanuel de. Talleyrand, le prince immobile. Paris: Fayard, 2003.
- Welch, Cheryl. Liberty and Utility: The French Ideologues and the Transformation of Liberalism. New York: Columbia University Press, 1984.
- Wyrwa, Marek, ed. Malesherbes, le pouvoir et les Lumières. Paris: Éditions France-Empire, 1989.
This book is set in Fournier, a font based on types cut by Pierre Simon Fournier circa 1742 in his Manuel Typographique. These types were some of the most influential designs of the eighteenth century, being among the earliest of the transitional style of typeface, and were a stepping stone to the more severe modern style made popular by Bodoni later in the century. They had more vertical stress than the old-style types, greater contrast between thick and thin strokes, and little or no bracketing on the serifs.
Printed on paper that is acid-free and meets the requirements of the American National Standard for Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, z39.48-1992. (archival)
Book design by Louise OFarrell Gainesville, Florida
Typography by Apex CoVantage Madison, Wisconsin
Printed and bound by Worzalla Publishing Company Stevens Point, Wisconsin
In 2000 Transaction Publishers republished a selection from Madame de Staël’s writings on politics, literature, and national character. Translated and edited by Morroe Berger (the original edition appeared in 1964), this anthology includes a seventeen-page fragment from Staël’s Considerations. Also worth mentioning are a selection from Staël’s rich correspondence compiled by George Solovieff (Springer Publishing, 2000); the new translation of Ten Years of Exile by Avriel H. Goldberger (Northern Illinois University Press, 2000); An Extraordinary Woman: Selected Writings of Germaine de Staël, edited and translated by Vivian Folkenflick (Columbia University Press, 1987); and the collection of essays in Germaine de Staël: Crossing the Borders, edited by Madelyn Gutwirth, et al. (Rutgers University Press, 1991).
A splendid account of Madame de Staël’s contribution to feminist debates may be found in Mona Ozouf, Women’s Words: Essay on French Singularity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997), a work which, unfortunately, has been ignored in the United States.
Staël wrote that “reason is not a shade of meaning between extremes, but the primary color given off by the purest rays of the sun.” (Berger, ed., Politics, Literature, and National Character, 136)
For more information about the differences between the original manuscript and the published one, see the account given by Chinatsu Takeda, “Présentation des documents,” in Revue française d’histoire des idées politiques, 18 (no. 2): 2003, 355–61.
Both the 1818 French edition and the 1818 English translation were published in three volumes (vol. 1: pts. 1 and 2; vol. 2: pts. 3 and 4; vol. 3: pts. 5 and 6). The name of the English translator was not disclosed.
The two editors were Victor de Broglie and Auguste de Staël. They were assisted by August Wilhelm von Schlegel, the former teacher of Auguste and close friend of Germaine de Staël.
- Admire our civic laurels!
- In Italy blossomed rich harvests;
- Now they grow for us amongst the fields of ice;
- Here are those of Fleurus, those of the Belgian plains.
- All the rivers were aghast at our triumphs;
- And every day delivered our successes.
- Let the noble white heads of our fathers
- Be showered with honors won by their children.
- O republic of the Franks,
- You were once the dread of the earth,
- Be now its pride!
- Let songs of rejoicing follow battle cries,
- Victory has won over peace. (trans. A. C.)
- Treason does never prosper: what’s the reason?
- Why, when it prospers, none dare call it treason.
- Genius, and taste, and talent gone,
- For ever tomb’d beneath the stone,
- Where, taming thought to human pride!
- The mighty chiefs sleep side by side.
- Drop upon Fox’s grave the tear,
- ’Twill trickle to his rival’s bier.
Waverly (1814) is a famous novel by Sir Walter Scott.
What all these characters shared was military virtue and courage in the fight for liberty.
Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859) was a famous Prussian scientist and explorer whose scientific achievements were admired by all the leading names of his epoch, from Goethe and Napoléon to Jefferson and Darwin. Simón Bolívar once claimed that “Alexander von Humboldt has done more for America than all its conquerors; he is the true discoverer of America.” Von Humboldt also had a genuine interest in politics. During the July Monarchy, he was frequently employed in diplomatic missions to the court of the king of France, with whom he maintained cordial personal relations. His brother, Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767–1835), was a well-known political thinker and founder of Humboldt University in Berlin. Wilhelm von Humboldt’s ideas had a strong influence on J. S. Mill’s On Liberty.