The Melodramatic Thread

Spectacle and Political Culture in Modern France

by James R. Lehning

Published by: Indiana University Press

192 pages, 6.12 x 9.25 in

  • Paperback
  • 9780253219107
  • Published: July 2007


  • eBook
  • 9780253117014
  • Published: July 2007


In France, both political culture and theatrical performances have drawn upon melodrama. This "melodramatic thread" helped weave the country's political life as it moved from monarchy to democracy. By examining the relationship between public ceremonies and theatrical performance, James R. Lehning sheds light on democratization in modern France. He explores the extent to which the dramatic forms were present in the public performance of political power. By concentrating on the Republic and the Revolution and on theatrical performance, Lehning affirms the importance of examining the performative aspects of French political culture for understanding the political differences that have marked France in the years since 1789.