~Madame de Stäel
of the Restoration
of Victor Hugo
of Printed Materials
Viewed by Foreigners
~Parisians Viewed by
Thanks to the printing press,
the personal scandals of the upper-class were revealed to a larger
audience. Even if the majority of peasants were illiterate, the
act of printing made the accounts public. Now 'public'
is a powerful word, because it implies that the general population
has a right to know and a need to know. As Rousseau pointed out,
humans only want what they are taught to want (Rousseau,
56). For the lower-class, these memoires introduced
and supported égalité and liberté, educating them
in a way that provoked a spirit of revolution.
Image 2.3 Examples of memoires
Social inequality in France
led to discontentment and a general desire for reform.
Like all metropolitan capitals, Paris best embodied this stark
distinction between classes, as a concentrated center of
both poverty and wealth and nobility. The differences in lifestyle
became increasingly visible through the publication and circulation
of memoires, which depicted the legal or social scandals of the