A Lesbian Historiography of the French Revolution

  • Allison Wheeler


Flings between the Queen of France and an actress at the Comédie Française, philosophical pornographic pamphleteers, and secret sapphic societies that threatened male supremacy formed a small yet rich historiography of lesbianism in 18th-century France. "A Lesbian Historiography of the French Revolution" analyses the works of various historians such as Susan S. Lanser, Jeffrey Merrick, and Bryant T. Ragan Jr concerning these topics. By analysing the shifting attitudes towards lesbianism, investigating the legal ramifications of homosexuality, studying novels and pamphlets from the time, and profiling those accused of lesbianism, historians have uncovered a rich history of lesbianism before and during the French Revolution. Though homosexuality was decriminalised during the revolution, lesbianism's close association with the second estate was used to condemn both members of the nobility and homosexuality.

How to Cite
Wheeler, Allison. 2024. “A Lesbian Historiography of the French Revolution”. the Ascendant Historian 3 (June), 112-18. https://journals.uvic.ca/index.php/corvette/article/view/22023.