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David Garrioch

David Garrioch teaches in the School of Historical Studies at Monash University in Melbourne. His most recent book is The Making of Revolutionary Paris.

Making peasants into Frenchmen

David Garrioch, 3 November 2005

What can be done with a people that produces 246 different cheeses? General De Gaulle’s remark may be apocryphal – France has far more than 246 cheeses – but it captures a central dilemma in French history. How could such a diverse collection of peoples be forged into a single nation? The question remains pertinent. Despite an apparent unity, regional differences and...

On a wintry Paris day a decade before the French Revolution, the young Manon Phlipon did something daring. Left alone at home one day, she took it into her head to dress up in clothes belonging to the family servant: a ragged blue ankle-length dress with a long, faded red apron, and a rough cotton shawl and hood over the top. Thus attired, she went out into the street and headed off,...

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