Napoleon Harlequin: Theatre and the Battle for Legitimacy, 1814-15 – 10 June 2019

Lecture by Professor Katherine Astbury

 Napoleon Harlequin:

Theatre and the Battle for Legitimacy, 1814-15

 6 -7.30pm, Monday 10 June 2019

Keynes Library, School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square. WC1H 0PD

The Birkbeck Eighteenth-Century Research Group is delighted to announce a forthcoming lecture by Kate Astbury, Professor of French Studies, University of Warwick.

After the allies entered Paris at the end of March 1814, the city witnessed a flood of pamphlets and prints denouncing Napoleon as ‘tyrant’, ‘monster’, ‘assassin’ and ‘comedian’. This final ‘crime’ might, at first sight, seem somewhat out of place but the battle for legitimacy that was taking place hinged on who had the greater claim to rule France, Napoleon or Louis XVIII. To accuse Napoleon of being a charlatan and an actor merely playing a part was to undermine his right to reign and it thus becomes a repeated element of royalist attacks on the person of the Emperor.  It would however, also be a weapon Napoleon’s supporters could turn to their advantage and this paper will outline the ways in which theatrical metaphor was used by both sides in 1814-15.

The lecture will be followed by questions, and drinks.

All are very welcome!

For further information, please contact Dr Ann Lewis: a.lewis@bbk.ac.uk

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