Sexual Moralities in France, 1780-1980: New Ideas on the Family, Divorce, and Homosexuality: An Essay on Moral Change, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Sexual Moralities in France, 1780-1980

New Ideas on the Family, Divorce, and Homosexuality: An Essay on Moral Change, 1st Edition

By Antony Copley


194 pages

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Paperback: 9780367174712
pub: 2020-07-15
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pub: 2019-01-28
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pub: 2019-01-25
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Originally published in 1989. This is the first history of modern France to explore the long-term origins of the libertarian revolt. It traces the moral history from the eighteenth century to the 1960s, examining the questions of marriage and divorce, homosexuality, and sexual morality. It includes detailed chapters on the Marquis de Sade, Charles Fourier, André Gide, and Daniel Guérin in order to illustrate the changing legislation, popular thought and public opinion. The result is an enlightening and provocative account which will be of interest to students of modern French history, moral thought and the history of sexual attitudes.


Reviews of the original publication:

‘An important contribution to the rather neglected field of changing sexual attitudes in France.’ French History

‘A very likable and lively book.’ Times Higher Education Supplement

‘A useful introduction to an important set of issues.’ Choice

‘Copley writes agreeably and discursively, and has much of interest to say.’ History

‘… a very valuable source of detailed information. I would like to acknowledge the importance of a book in English on this topic.’ Modern and Contemporary France

Table of Contents

Preface Part 1: Towards Libertarianism 1. Prologue 2. The Marquis De Sade. Apologist for Autonomy 3. Charles Fourier: Modernist or Neo-traditionalist? Part 2: Beyond Guilt? 4. Victorianism in France: Duplicity and Furtiveness 5. An Incomplete Liberation: New Legislation on Divorce Under the Third Republic 6. From Criminality to Psychopathology: Medical Discourse on Homosexuality During the Third Republic 7. Case Studies in Homosexuality: 1 André Gide: The Continuing Hold of Guilt 8. Case Studies in Homosexuality: 2 Daniel Guérin: Towards Self-acceptance 9. Post 1940: Towards the Sexual Revolution 10. Epilogue. Notes. Thematic Bibliography

About the Author

Antony Copley was Professor of Modern European and Indian History at the University of Kent.

About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: History of Sexuality

Reissuing seven works originally published between 1977 and 1992, this collection offers a varied selection of surveys of historical practices and attitudes to sexuality, from complete reviews of changing attitudes through time, to individual studies of France in the 19th and 20th Centuries and England in the 17th. This set will be of interest in sociology, gender studies, cultural studies and history.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General