Chapter

Republican Women and Republican Families in the Personal Narratives of George Sand, Marie d’Agoult, and Hortense Allart

Whitney Walton

in The New Biography

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2000 | ISBN: 9780520221406
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520935310 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520221406.003.0004
Republican Women and Republican Families in the Personal Narratives of George Sand, Marie d’Agoult, and Hortense Allart

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This chapter examines three different stages in the lives of George Sand, Marie d' Agoult, and Hortense Allart as feminist challenges to the masculine exclusivity of republicanism. It argues that women writers' life stories presented an alternative to the authoritarian family on which male republicanism was based. The three authors' self-narratives authorized a political role for women, much in contrast to the strictly domestic feminine function articulated by revolutionaries in 1793 and codified into law in 1840. This model for women was republican motherhood, the notion that women best served the republic as wives and mothers who imparted republican ideals and virtues to their children in the family setting. By removing women to the private sphere on the grounds that they were naturally suited for housekeeping and childrearing, republican motherhood justified exclusive male participation in the public sphere.

Keywords: motherhood; women; republican families; George Sand; Marie d' Agoult; Hortense Allart

Chapter.  15534 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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