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Germaine de Staël: forging a politics of mediation

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Volume editor(s)
Volume editor(s): 
Karyna Szmurlo
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About the Book

About the Book: 

Author, political activist and salonnière, Germaine de Staël has become the focal point of groundbreaking research in women’s studies, in performing arts, and in language/translation theory. In this multidisciplinary volume, a team of scholars concentrates on the vast range of her political and cultural engagements, both during and after the French Revolution.

In this collection of studies, which examine issues as diverse as citizenship, immigration, abolition or constitutional liberalism, Staël’s stance as a champion of moderation against the perils of extremism and polarization comes clearly to the fore. Contributors shed new light on the Groupe de Coppet, the circle of which she was the heart, and on the cosmopolitan networks she created within and beyond Europe. Other articles underline and reassess Staël’s formative influence on national cultures distant in space and time, redefining her Italianism in Corinne ou l’Italie, analysing the British reception of her Considérations and exploring the impact of De l’Allemagne on American intellectual life.

Germaine de Staël: forging a politics of mediation highlights Staël’s pioneering place in the history of global interaction. She emerges as a truly modern thinker as well as an agent of multicultural exchange.

Madelyn Gutwirth, Preface

Karyna Szmurlo, Introduction

I. Revolutionary engagements

Marie-Eve Beausoleil, Germaine de Staël as political activist: print, privacy and opinion in the French Revolution (1789-1799)

Paul S. Spalding, Germaine de Staël’s role in rescuing Lafayette, 1792-1797

Catriona Seth, Germaine de Staël and Marie-Antoinette

Doris Y. Kadish, Patriarchy and abolition: Staël and fathers

Carrie F. Klaus, The ‘French’ and the ‘foreign’ in works by Germaine de Staël, Isabelle de Charrière and Cornélie Wouters

Chinatsu Takeda, On a liberal interpretation of the French Revolution: Mme de Staël’s Considérations sur la Révolution française

Aurelian Craiutu, Moderation and the Groupe de Coppet

Susan Tenenbaum, Turning honour on its head: Germaine de Staël’s indictment of Napoleon

Jean-Marie Roulin, Ontology and the politics of return in Germaine de Staël

II. In space and time: cultural cross-currents

Ann T. Gardiner, From group to traveller’s network: thoughts on reconfiguring sociability in Germaine de Staël

Clorinda Donato, Against Coppet’s Italie: Ugo Foscolo’s engaged Italian Romanticism

Robert Casillo, Staël, Stendhal and the reputation of the modern Italians

Paola Giuli, Poetry and national identity: Corinne, Corilla and the idea of Italy

Nanora Sweet, Staël the poet: recuperating Italy

Ulrike Wagner, From words to worlds: De l’Allemagne and the transnational recasting of the ancient past

Eric Gidal, Conversation and censorship: De l’Allemagne and the British reviews






H-France Review

‘This volume with its extensive bibliography is an absorbing and timely addition to Staël scholarship and will appeal to a broad readership through its impressive sweep of writings’.

French Studies

The collection, made up of seventeen contributions by an impressive number of established Staël scholars, […] helps to give the measure not only of Staël’s own intellectual achievements but also of the scale of her imaginative and analytical work that has come to be needed to bring their various interlocking dimensions back into full historical view.