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Waxing Revolutionary: Reflections on a Raid on a Waxworks at the Outbreak of the French Revolution

McCallam, D. (2002) Waxing Revolutionary: Reflections on a Raid on a Waxworks at the Outbreak of the French Revolution. French History, 16 (2). pp. 153-173. ISSN 0269-1191

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[First paragraph] Parisians from all walks of life were already accustomed to watching heads roll before the Revolution of 1789. This is not a reference to public executions of the time (beheadings were reserved for the nobility and were rare events) but to another cultural spectacle of late eighteenth-century Paris, one which was sufficiently well-known to become the object of a satirical print in 1787. Entitled ‘Avis au public: Têtes à changer’, the print by P. D. Viviez lampoons the unceremonious updating of fashionable or celebrated waxwork figures displayed in the popular entertainments district of the Boulevard du Temple [See Figure 1]. It shows wax heads being handed down from shelves; heads being replaced on models; one head about to be struck off with a chisel; another head lies discarded on the ground, being sniffed at by a little cat. All of this takes place in front of a crowd of curious, chatty onlookers.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Copyright © 2002 Oxford University Press. This is an author produced version of a paper published in French History. This paper has been peer-reviewed but does not include the final publisher proof-corrections or journal pagination.
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > School of Modern Languages (Sheffield) > Department of French (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2005
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2014 02:59
Published Version: http://fh.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/16/2/153
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1093/fh/16.2.153
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/629

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