The republican line

Caricature and French republican identity, 1830-52

By Laura O'Brien

The republican line

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8935-0
  • Pages: 296
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: July 2015
  • BIC Category: POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory, HISTORY / Modern / 19th Century, HISTORY / Europe / France, Political Subversion, Cartoons & Comic Strips, Humanities / Social & cultural history, General & world history, European history, Humanities / Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900, c 1500 onwards to present day, 19th century, c 1800 to c 1899, France, Humanities / European history, ART / Techniques / Cartooning, HUMOR / Form / Comic Strips & Cartoons, Modern History, History, History & Archaeology
  • Series: Studies in Modern French and Francophone History


The years between 1830 and 1852 were turbulent ones in French politics - but were also a golden age for French political caricature. Caricature was wielded as a political weapon, so much so that in 1835 the French politician Adolphe Thiers claimed that 'nothing was more dangerous' than graphic satire. This book is the first full study of French political caricature during the critical years of the July Monarchy (1830-48) and the Second Republic (1848-52). Focusing on the crucial question of republicanism, it shows how caricature was used - by both republicans and anti-republicans - to discuss, define and articulate notions of republican identity during this highly significant period in modern French and European history.


'The Republican Line is an admirable book, which can be endorsed without reservation and read with great pleasure.'
Robert Justin Goldstein, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Nineteenth-Century French Studies (vol. 45, numbers 1-2, fall-winter 2016-2017)

'This is a work that is detailed, thorough and thoughtful. It is well illustrated and there are detailed descriptions of the images that could not be reproduced. It will be a useful resource for future historians of France's mid-nineteenth-century crisis.'
Christopher Guyver, The English Historical Review


1. The image of the people: representing republicanism in July Monarchy caricature
2. Caricature and the 'springtime of the people': responses to the February Revolution, 1848
3. Enemies of the state? Caricature and outsiders in the Second Republic
4. 'Flights of fancy': satire, socialism and republicanism
5. Caricature and anti-republicanism, 1830-52
6. Caricature, the republic and the challenge of conservatism and Bonapartism


Laura O'Brien is Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Sunderland

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