Marie-Jeanne Roland Criticism - Essay

Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield (essay date 1922)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Blashfield, Evangeline Wilbour. “The Salon of Madame Roland.” In Manon Phlipon Roland: Early Years, pp. 381-83. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1922.

[In this excerpt, taken from her unfinished study of Roland, Blashfield offers a depiction of Roland's salon. Blashfield's high praise and admiration typifies many early biographies of Roland.]

[The salon of Madame Roland] was a society of partisans composed of grave folk occupied with serious matters, mostly Girondins. Its tone was thoughtful but not solemn. The lightness of hand which the French display in all social discussion, even of the profoundest subjects, saved it from pedantry, and the presence of...

(The entire section is 766 words.)

Gita May (essay date 1970)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: May, Gita. “A Revolutionary Salon.” In Madame Roland and the Age of Revolution, pp. 180-99. New York: Columbia University Press, 1970.

[In this essay, May describes Roland's relationship to the major figures of the French Revolution, including Buzot and Robespierre.]

Before plunging into politics, Manon had to fulfill a few private obligations, such as paying the good sisters of the Convent of the Congregation a visit. Of her own family there were few surviving relations; her father had died in the winter of 1788.1 In order better to acquaint herself with the workings of the revolutionary government, she hastened to attend the sessions of the...

(The entire section is 7994 words.)

Elissa Gelfand (essay date fall 1979)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Gelfand, Elissa. “A Response to the Void: Madame Roland's ‘Mémoires Particuliers’ and Her Imprisonment.” Romance Notes XX (fall 1979): 75-80.

[In this essay, Gelfand uses the work of Michel Foucault on the eighteenth-century rethinking of the prison system to show how Roland's relationship to her audience, in addition to her observations on prison life and the justice system, reflects the model of crime and punishment in place after the Revolution.]

The social consciousness of the eighteenth-century philosophers, and in particular Rousseau's idea of any crime as an offense against society, accelerated changes in the function of prisons later adopted by...

(The entire section is 2025 words.)

Gita May (essay date 1984)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: May, Gita. “Rousseau's ‘Antifeminism’ Reconsidered.” In French Women and the Age of Enlightenment, edited by Samia I. Spencer, pp. 309-17. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1984.

[In this essay, May considers how women authors such as Roland could be inspired by the ideas of Rousseau despite his consistent depiction of women as inferior to men.]

As most of us have come to realize, feminist revisionist criticism has demonstrated impressive vitality in the last decade and at least as much validity as a mode of inquiry as structuralism, marxism, and psychoanalysis.

When one approaches the eighteenth century, one encounters the two...

(The entire section is 3753 words.)

Dorinda Outram (essay date 1989)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Outram, Dorinda. “Words and Flesh: Mme Roland, the Female Body and the Search for Power.” In The Body and the French Revolution: Sex, Class and Political Culture, pp. 124-52. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1989.

[In this essay, Outram connects Roland's presentation of herself as an “embodied” woman with her political writings and activism.]

Fût-on un Caton, on doit craindre les Circés.

Hébert, 1793

En lisant les Mémoires de Mme Roland, on aperçoit l'actrice qui travaille pour la scène et qui noie dans une foule de puérilités l'apologie de...

(The entire section is 15516 words.)

Brigitte Szymanek (essay date spring 1996)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Szymanek, Brigitte. “French Women's Revolutionary Writings: Madame Roland or the Pleasure of the Mask.” Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 15, no. 1 (spring 1996): 99-122.

[In this essay, Szymanek looks at the conflicting accounts of appropriate feminine behavior Roland presents in her memoirs and letters.]

Quoi! ce héros fut donc vraiment une femme?”

(What! This hero was really a woman then?)1

On November 8, 1793, the members of the Revolutionary Tribunal ordered the execution of Marie-Jeanne Phlipon Roland, the wife of former Girondist...

(The entire section is 10987 words.)

Barbara Goff (essay date fall 1996)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Goff, Barbara. “Figures of Antiquity in the Memoirs of Mme Roland: The Classical, the Revolutionary, and the Feminine.” Classical and Modern Literature 17, no. 1 (fall 1996): 57-84.

[In this essay, Goff evaluates Roland's use of references to classical texts in her memoirs.]

In her book Feminism without Illusions, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese writes some provocative paragraphs on her relationship to the “canon.”1 As a child she was introduced by her father to the central works of Western philosophy and literature, which she “loved” (170) and which by her own account do not cease to signify for her. Reflecting on her early reading,...

(The entire section is 12043 words.)

Elizabeth Macarthur (essay date 1997)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Macarthur, Elizabeth. “Between the Republic of Virtue and the Republic of Letters: Marie-Jeanne Roland Practices Rousseau.” Yale French Studies no. 92 (1997): 184-203.

[In this essay, Macarthur explores the relations between republicanism and liberalism in Revolutionary France, using the life and work of Roland as an example.]

… that she asked for paper, a pen and ink at the foot of the scaffold, … that's impossible, that's petty, that's puerile. … [I]n order to confess her faith in virtue, didn't she have enough ink in her blood, in the blood that she was about to shed?



(The entire section is 8621 words.)

Béatrice Didier (essay date 1997)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Didier, Béatrice. “Mme Roland: History, Memoirs, and Autobiography.” In Women Writers in Pre-Revolutionary France: Strategies of Emancipation, edited by Colette H. Winn and Donna Kuizenga, pp. 363-72. New York: Garland Publishing, 1997.

[In this essay, Didier examines how Roland's memoirs constitute both self-representation and a form of self-formation, particularly in the face of threats to her self—both her physical person and the coherence of her inner self—experienced in prison.]

Mme Roland's [1754-1793] Mémoires interest us for many reasons. They present characteristics that one might find in the work of George Sand or Yourcenar—minimal...

(The entire section is 4749 words.)

Lesley H. Walker (essay date 2001)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Walker, Lesley H. “Sweet and Consoling Virtue: The Memoirs of Madame Roland.” Eighteenth-Century Studies 34, no. 3 (2001): 403-19.

[In this essay, Walker argues that Roland depicts herself in the character of a virtuous young woman familiar to readers of such eighteenth-century novels as Samuel Richardson's Clarissa and Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Julie.]

Her great soul, superior to all events, turned inward and found the force to suppress not only the natural horror of death, but also to taste, if possible, the pleasure of this last sacrifice for her country.1

Luc-Antoine Champagneux,...

(The entire section is 9509 words.)