Introduction: Moving Objects: French History and the Study of Material Culture

William G Pooley, Andrew Smith, Ludivine Broch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)


What does it mean to see the history of France through objects? In 1837 Thomas Carlyle chose three things to structure his analysis of the French Revolution: the Bastille, the Constitution, and the Guillotine. Yet Carlyle used these objects as shorthands, as symbols for the greater whole, rather than subjects of sustained analysis and reflection. This special issue puts the analysis of objects at the heart of French history, to ask what material histories of France might mean.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrench History
Early online date14 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023


  • material culture
  • objects
  • French history
  • history of emotions


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