An Appeal to Impartial Posterity, by Citizenness Roland, wife of the Minister of the Home Department, or A Collection of Pieces written by her during her Confinement in the Prisons of the Abbey and St. Pelagie, Part I (London: J. Johnson, 1795). 2 vols. This contains her Historical Memoires.
Available in full text from HathiTrust. First-hand account of her time in France during the Terror written by Grace Dalrymple Elliott; with an introduction and notes translated from the French by E. Jules Meras.
This is a digital collection from Gallica that includes written works and documents by Revolutionary figures from both the French and American Revolutions including Madame de Staël's Considérations sur la Révolution Française [Considerations on the French Revolution]
Available in full text. This website is an ongoing project to bring the writings of Olympe de Gouges to an English speaking world. All translations are of original source material and more will be added over time. The plan is to carry on translating as many of de Gouges’s works into English as possible. It is an open resource for all those people who wish to read de Gouges’s texts but lack the French proficiency to do so. This site was created by Clarissa Palmer, a playwright and scholar of French.
The 5,126 images selected for this digital archive concentrate solely on the period from 1787 through 1799, from the years immediately preceding the outbreak of the Revolution through the emergence of Napoleon. Only visual materials directly tied to the Revolution itself are included. The creators of the initial incarnation of the Images anticipated that scholars would use them for their research and teaching purposes, and that the public at large would find in them an important way of learning more about this foundational moment for the French nation.
Ball State University Libraries Digital Media Repository Collections in Indiana offers a French Revolution Pamphlets digital collection. It consists of pamphlets produced from 1779 to 1815. Although the French Revolution happened in the decade ranging from 1789 to 1799, this collection of pamphlets documents the time leading up to the revolution through the Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815). Often privately printed due to newspaper censure by the monarchy, the pamphlets were used to disseminate information and ideals concerning nationalism, citizenship, personal freedoms, and social injustice. Hundreds of pamphlets are available in PDF.
An optimistic and rationalist account of the French Revolution based upon first-hand, eyewitness experiences. It was intended to defend the Revolution against critics like Burke. Wollstonecraft explained the violent excesses of the Revolution as an over-reaction caused by the degraded character of the French people which was in turn the result of the despotism of the old regime. Available in full text.
Publication that references women's lives leading up to and during the French Revolution. Begins: Maternal Affection. The instances we shall give of the sacrifices made by maternal affection are not numerous. To relate the various facts of that nature with the care their merit deserves, it would be necessary to visit the multitude of families that were victims of the dreadful conflicts of parties in France, in which would be found mothers wasting the sad remains of life over the cruel recollection of children torn from them forever; it would be necessary to attend to the recital of past dangers by children, saved by the enterprises of their mothers from an untimely fate; it would be necessary to run through every city of France.
The Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection contains rare books from the fifteenth to twentieth centuries and a handful of medieval and renaissance manuscripts. The collection contains 2,653 items of which many date from the Renaissance. To browse the items in the Rosenwald Collection, consult the collection's catalog available in PDF format. The section on 18th century French books, manuscripts, engravings and drawings is found on page 292 of the original print edition and page 314 in digital format.
Marie-Victoire Monnard (1777-1869) was an apprentice to a hatmaker in Paris and as such was one of the only working class women to write her memoires during the events of Paris during the Revolution. She wrote about the Insurrection of 10 August 1792 and the September Massacres. This the full digitized text of her work.
Available in full text from google books. Collection of documents originally published between 1744 and 1838. Many publications from women of the Revolutionary Time period. Table of Contents: I. Les Ecrits Masculin: M. La Coste Le Cadet; Caritat de Condorcet; Jacques-René Hébert; Charles Lacretelle II. Les Ecrites Feminins: Madame Gaston-Dufour; Madame Rigal; Madame Sophie-Rémi de Courtenai de la Fosse-Ronde; Madame Palm d'Aelders III. Les Ecrits Anonymes. Pages 1-36 available on google books. Includes bibliographical references.
Available in full text from google books. Helen Maria Williams was a poet, novelist, and radical thinker deeply immersed in the political struggles of the 1790s. She was an idealistic young British writer who moved to Paris in 1790 and many of her accounts describe, if not Léon by name, women in her situation, and thus she is an invaluable source of information. Her Letters Written in France is the first and most important of eight volumes chronicling the French Revolution to an England fearful of another civil war. Her twenty-six letters recounting old regime tyranny and revolutionary events provide both an apology for the Revolution and a representation of it as sublime spectacle. There are many accounts that shed light on the life of Pauline Léon.
Available in full text from Gallica. This is the complete text of the Marquis de Condorcet's Sur l’admission des femmes au droit de cité from the Bibliothèque national de France digital library. He was the husband of Sophie de Condorcet.
Available in full text from HathiTrust. Translated memories written by Madame Campan, lady's maid in the service of Marie Antoinette and later appointed head mistress to the first "Maison d'éducation de la Légion d'honneur" by Napoleon. This work is a valuable source of information from this time period. Although Mme. Campan's works were published posthumously, they are first-hand accounts.
Gabrielle Gauchat (1767-1805) was one of the few French nuns who wrote memoires during the French Revolution. Out of 55 memoires written, only four were written by nuns. This is the full digitized text of Journal d'une visitandine pendant la Terreur or Mémoires de la soeur Gabrielle Gauchat.
Louise Florence Pétronille Tardieu d'Esclavelles d'Épinay (1726-1783) was mentioned in Simone de Beauvoir's works as an individual who expanded upon women's rights in the 18th century. She had liaisons with many intellectuals during the Enlightenment including Jean-Jacques Rousseau. These are her full digitized memoires.
Available in full text from Gallica. Both volumes of Madame Roland's memoirs (in original French) as she was in prison waiting for her execution. Notes and historical clarifications by Albin de Berville, and François Barrière.
Dialogues des morts, a classical format (inaugurated by Lucian of Samosata in the second century CE) in which the great figures of the distant or more recent past are brought together in conversation in the hereafter, commenting on their own lives and on the changes that have been made since their passing.-Lucian, Dialogues of the Dead, trans. by M. D. MacLeod, in Lucian, 8 vols (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1913–67), VII (1961), pp. 1–175. French iterations of the genre across the seventeenth century included collections by Fénelon and Fontenelle, and the latter in particular revives a large number of women, including Dido, Mary Queen of Scots, Sappho, Petrarch's Laura, Bérénice, and Helen of Troy (Bernard de Fontenelle, Nouveaux dialogues des morts (1683), in Œuvres complètes, ed. by Alain Niderst, 9 vols (Paris: Fayard, 1989–2001), I (1989), pp. 47–211).
Available in full text from HathiTrust. This translated text includes the first-hand accounts of many prisoners of the Revolution, particularly from the ranks of the aristocracy and nobility. Table of Contents: Prison Life During the French Revolution; Madame Latour's Memoir; Events of the 21st of July, 1794; Narrative of an Eye-witness of the Affair of July 22, 1794; Letter from Madame la Duchesse de Duras, née Noailles, to Monsieur Grelet; Extract from the "Mémorial Européen" April 24, 1809.
Available in part from google books. This publication is absolutely invaluable for its translations of primary accounts, organization and thorough index of women of the Revolution including not only the more famous but also the lesser-known individuals such as Audu , Léon and Lacombe. Notes and commentary by Darline Gay Levy, Harriet Branson Applewhite, Mary Durham Johnson. Includes documents, speeches, petitions, grievances, written protests, meeting notes, pamphlets and letters. Serves as a good complement to Dominique Godineau's The Women of Paris and their French Revolution. This link reveals only the first 60 pages of the book.
Preface: Biography is so universally fascinating, that it was very naturally the first subject presented to my mind; and I believe I am not mistaken in supposing that the Lives of Madame de Staël and Madame Roland will prove unusually attractive both on account of their own great qualities and the very exciting historical events with which they are so intimately connected.
Catalogue of autographs relating to the French Revolution compiled by Henry Eldridge Bourne and Gertrude Albion MacCormick. This collection of autographic material relating to the Revolution was donated to the Library of Congress by Mrs. John Boyd Thacher in 1921. Mr. Thacher spent a great deal of his life studying the French Revolution and looked at originals letters and documents on his frequent visits to France.
Available in full text from Internet Archive. Biography of Charlotte Corday. Table of Contents: Enfances normandes; Un révolutionnaire s'affirme; Effervescence en Normandie; L'ombre de la guillotine; Les angoisses d'une décision; De Caen à Paris; Veillée d'armes; Un couteau de quarante sols; L arrestation; Dans la paix du cachot; Face à ses juges; Le chemin de l echafaud; Terreur, fureur, ferveur; Conclusion.
Available in full text from Internet Archive. French editions also available. Search: Angoulême (Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte de France, duchesse d'), 1778-1851. See also: Mémoires particuliers, formant, avec l'ouvrage de M. Hüe et le journal de Cléry, L'histoire complète de la captivité de la famille royale à la Tour du Temple. Paris: Audot, 1817. Surviving child of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. Wife of the Duc d'Angoulême, her first cousin and heir apparent to the throne after 1815. Adult reputation as haughty, courageous, and most unfortunate in all aspects of her life. [Compelled to Witness by Marilyn Yalom]
Available in full text from HathiTrust. This rare treasure of a volume authored by Augustin Challamel, is part of the John Boyd Thacher Collection in the Rare Book Division, Thacher, II, p. 18 (French Revolution). There is a copy listed in the general collections. HathiTrust holds a fully digitized version from the Princeton Library. It is rich with engravings of various figures of the French Revolution including artistic representations of the sans-culotte, Necker, various women sporting wild hairstyles not to mention a fascinating interpretation of the events of the time. Published in 1842.
As the first complete narrative in English of the Haitian Revolution, Marcus Rainsford's An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti was highly influential in establishing nineteenth-century world opinion of this momentous event. This new edition is the first to appear since the original publication in 1805. Rainsford, a career officer in the British army, went to Haiti to recruit black soldiers for the British. By publishing his observations of the prowess of black troops, and recounting his meetings with Toussaint Louverture, Rainsford offered eyewitness testimonial that acknowledged the intelligence and effectiveness of the Haitian rebels. Although not an abolitionist, Rainsford nonetheless was supportive of the independent state of Haiti, which he argued posed no threat to British colonial interests in the West Indies, an extremely unusual stance at the time. Rainsford's account made an immediate impact upon publication; it was widely reviewed, and translated twice in its first year. Paul Youngquist's and Grégory Pierrot's critical introduction to this new edition provides contextual and historical details, as well as new biographical information about Rainsford. Of particular interest is a newly discovered miniature painting of Louverture attributed to Rainsford, which is reproduced along with the twelve engravings that accompanied his original account.
Available in full text from Internet Archive and HathiTrust. Biography on Marie-Louise-Sophie de Grouchy, the future Madame de Condorcet. Table of Contents: L'Enfance et la Jeunesse de Mademoiselle de Grouchy; Le Salon des Condorcet; L'Aube des Temps nouveaux; Fuite et mort de Condorcet; La Vie reprend ses droits; Une Passion orageuse; Les Consolations d'un nouveau Foyer; Les Dernières Années; Bibliographie, 281. [Madame de Condorcet: Her Friends, her salon, and Her Lovers]
Available in full text from HathiTrust. Famous Women of 1789 to 1795 and their influence in the Revolution. This two-volume book covers many women of the Revolution including: Théroigne de Mericourt, Madame Necker (de Staël), Charlotte Corday, Suzette Labrousse, Madame Roland, and "La Mére Duchesne".
Available in full text from Internet Archive (time limit). One of the few English-language biographies of Récamier by an author of many such historical works. Despite the somewhat dismissive title, a thorough and well researched account of her life. Table of Contents: Before and During the Revolution; The Domination of Napoleon (1799-1815); The Restoration (1814-1830); Louis Philippe (1830-1848).
By Mrs Bearne. Published 1900. Contents Include: Jeanne de Bourbon,--Queen, consort of Charles V, King of France,--1335-1378, Isabella,--Queen, consort of Charles VI, King of France,--1370-1435, Anne,--of Brittany, Queen, consort of Louis XII, King of France,--1476-1514
Available in full text from several online sources including Internet Archive and HathiTrust. A thorough and thoughtful biography on Théroigne de Méricort. Table of Contents: The Peasant; The Patriot; Théroigne's Club; The Citoyennes; Flight and Capture; Kufstein; To Arms! To Arms; Suleau; Brissotine; La Salpêtrière: Théroigne and the Royalist Press; Notes on some Portraits of Théoigne de Méricourt.
Digital copy in full. This is the full text of an excellent bibliography of all written works about women in the French Revolution. It was published in 1989 and is therefore only as current as that date makes possible.
Available in full text from HathiTrust. Originally published in 1914, author Andrew Haggard wrote extensively on this time period in history. His writings are of interest especially as a perspective from the turn of the century.