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In Pursuit of the Golden Fleece

  • Jacques Darras
  • Daniel Snowman

Abstract

With all the digging up of data that went on in connection with the Bicentenary of the French Revolution, and the earnest quest for new interpretations of its origins and significance, it was easy to lose a sense of perspective and to become a bit perplexed. That perplexity, however, is nothing new. People, even the sharpest minds, were often nonplussed at the time. Listen to that enigmatic but imaginative figure, the Marquis de Sade, who said in 1791:

J’adore le roi, mais je déteste les anciens abus; j’aime une infinité d’articles de la Constitution, d’autres me révoltent. Je ne veux point d’Assemblée Nationale, mais deux Chambres, comme en Angleterre … Que suis-je à present? Aristocrate, ou démocrate? Vous me le direz, s’il vous pîat. Car pour moi, je n’en sais rien.

(I worship the King, yet I loathe the past excesses. I like a large number of the items in the new Constitution, while others revolt me. I do not want a National Assembly; I want two Houses, as they have in England. What am I at the moment? An aristocrat or a democrat? Please tell me. I myself cannot tell.)

Keywords

Fifteenth Century French Revolution Religious Nationalism Eventual Independence Past Excess 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Jacques Darras and Daniel Snowman 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacques Darras
    • 1
  • Daniel Snowman
    • 2
  1. 1.University of PicardyAmiensFrance
  2. 2.Features (BBC Radio)France

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