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Funerals, Politics, and Memory in Modern France, 1789–1996

Avner Ben-Amos


This is an interdisciplinary study of the state funerals that were celebrated in France between the French Revolution and the death of François Mitterrand. It explains how the funerals of such prominent figures as Voltaire, Napoleon Bonaparte, Léon Gambetta, Victor Hugo, and Charles de Gaulle became major public events that helped to mould the national memory. Combining the insights of anthropologists and sociologists with a historical analysis, it argues that the dual character of the ceremony, a political festival and final rite of passage, turned the state funeral into a gripping event to w ... More

Keywords: state funerals, France, French Revolution, Voltaire, Napoleon Bonaparte, Léon Gambetta, Victor Hugo, Charles de Gaulle, national memory, ceremony

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2000 Print ISBN-13: 9780198203285
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198203285.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Avner Ben-Amos, author
Tel-Aviv University