France and Women, 1789-1914 is the first book to offer an authoritative account of women's history throughout the nineteenth century. James McMillan, author of the seminal work Housewife or Harlot, offers a major reinterpretation of the French past in relation to gender throughout these tumultuous decades of revolution and war.
This book provides a challenging discussion of the factors which made French political culture so profoundly sexist and in particular, it shows that many of the myths about progress and emancipation associated with modernisation and the coming of mass politics do not stand up to close scrutiny. It also reveals the conservative nature of the republican left and of the ingrained belief throughout french society that women should remain within the domestic sphere. James McMillan considers the role played by French men and women in the politics, culture and society of their country throughout the 1800s.
'Instructors and students of French history and women's studies will find McMillan's text indispensable. With extensive notes … convincing arguments and an absorbing style, the book promotes informed comparisons of the status of women now and then …' - The French Review