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Prelude to Revolution

Module Code: FR227
Module Name: Prelude to Revolution
Module Coordinator: Dr Margaux Whiskin
Not running 2018-19
Module Credits: 15

Module Description

The French Revolution did not just happen out of the blue. In the years leading up to 1789, much was written about what was wrong with French society and what could be done to put this right. The novel or the play was just as important a tool for social criticism as the pamphlet or learned essay and writers attempted to persuade their readers of the need for change.

This module will examine the ways in which some of the leading figures of the French Enlightenment attempted to use experimental fiction in the name of reform. We will look at the famous satirist philosophe Voltaire, the position of women as described by Madame de Graffigny, Laclos's infamous Liaisons dangereuses, and how Beaumarchais used the stage as a medium for social comment in order to understand better some of the causes of the French Revolution. If you wish to study modules on the French Revolution in your final year, you may find this useful preparation.

Assessment Method:

  • 50% exam + 50% assessed coursework (1essay 2000-2500 words)
  • 50% exam + 50% assessed coursework (1 essay 1000-1250 words + 1 commentary 1000-1250 words)
  • 100% assessed coursework (1 essay 4000-4500 words)