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Sensational InternationalismThe Paris Commune and the Remapping of American Memory in the Long Nineteenth Century$
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J. Michelle Coghlan

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474411202

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474411202.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 26 May 2020

Becoming Americans in Paris: The Commune as Frontier in Turn-of-the-Century Adventure Fiction

Becoming Americans in Paris: The Commune as Frontier in Turn-of-the-Century Adventure Fiction

Chapter:
(p.52) Chapter 2 Becoming Americans in Paris: The Commune as Frontier in Turn-of-the-Century Adventure Fiction
Source:
Sensational Internationalism
Author(s):

J. Michelle Coghlan

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474411202.003.0003

This chapter charts the reconfiguration of the Commune’s domestic threat in American popular fiction in the 1890s. I show how America’s fin-de-siècle preoccupation with the revolution of 1871 consistently reframes Paris as a frontier of empire even as it critically reimagines it as a site where American tourists—or, more specifically, Gilded Age American men—might be said to “find” themselves. Setting Edward King’s 1895 boys’ book, Under the Red Flag, alongside G. A. Henty’s A Woman of the Commune, and two other immensely popular but virtually forgotten historical romances of the period, The Red Republic and An American in Paris, I argue that the 1890s were a particularly apt time to revisit the Commune because of the very real labor unrest plaguing the country, and more importantly because the “romance of the Commune” served to revise American conceptions of revolution at a moment when the U.S. was reimagining its role abroad and reevaluating its attitude towards empire.

Keywords:   Edward King, G.A. Henty, Robert W. Chambers, Under the Red Flag, A Woman of the Commune, The Red Republic, Nineteenth-Century Boys’ Books, Americans in Paris

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