Research Grants 2015



• Marjorie ALAPHILIPPE, Marie-Félix Faulcon (1758-1843): Un littérateur poitevin en Révolution.

PhD in History, supervised by Professors Frédéric CHAUVARD (University of Poitiers) and Pierre SERNA (University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne).

In his book on Napoleon’s “Députés”, Fabien Menant regrets that the private archives of these men have still not been fully explored and that the provincial nobles of the Empire are still relatively unknown (MENANT, Fabien, Les députés de Napoléon, 1799 – 1815, Nouveau Monde Editions, 2012, p. 23). But one of them, Marie-Félix Faulcon, left nearly twenty-five thousand pages of documents, mostly manuscripts, held in the departmental archives of Vienna, which are currently under inventory, transcription and analysis as part of this doctoral thesis. These diaries and travel journals, correspondence and other literary works cover the whole of Faulcon’s life.

His political career was a long one. He was a “Député suppléant” to the Estates General, titular “Député” during the Constituent Assembly, a member of the Council of Five Hundred (Conseil des Cinq-Cents) and the Corps Législatif during the Consulate and the Empire. He was Corresponding Member of l’Institut and was awarded the title “Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur” in 1808. On 3 April, 1814, as Vice President of the Corps Législatif, he declared the downfall of Napoleon. After participating in the drafting of the “Charte Constitutionnelle”, he retired to Poitiers where he died in the mid-nineteenth century.

Study of the career, character and writings of Faulcon offers new insight into the experience of a politician during the consular and imperial periods. Whilst playing a supporting role in history, he remained closely attached to his hometown, corresponding with over a hundred and fifty acquaintances, both in Paris and outside the capital. The variety and quantity of his writings shed light on cultural practices and intellectual life in the French provinces during the Napoleonic period which remain little known to this day. Indeed his library, which consisting of thousands of books annotated in his own hand, constitutes an essential reference.

• Dorothée LANNO, Les scènes de l’intimité domestiques dans les arts figurés en France (1780-1815).

PhD in History, supervised by Professor Martial GUEDRON (University of Strasbourg).

This thesis aims to shed new light on the mores of French society via a study of representations of domestic life in the three particularly eventful decades of French history, from the end of the Ancien Régime to the end of the First Empire. During this period, “genre” scenes and portraits feature prominently in exhibitions and at the “Salons”, suggesting the popularity these genres enjoyed amongst patrons, collectors and art-lovers. While many of these works take anonymous contemporaries as their subject, representations of sovereigns did not escape this trend for the exhibition of “private life”. Indeed political propaganda images were also subject to “intimisation”, as the portraits of the Emperor and his family show.

This taste for matters belonging to the private sphere has not really captured the attention of art historians of this period. Indeed, the latter have tended to focus more on the great historical compositions and artistic achievements related to political events. This thesis will draw on a rich body of hundreds of paintings, drawings and engravings in an attempt to offer a multi-disciplinary analysis of images and the writings of artists and critics (texts about their work, theoretical writings, critical texts, etc.) which will help to understand the value of intimacy in this period.


• Arthur HERISSON, Les catholiques français face à l’unification italienne (1856-1871).

PhD in History, supervised by Professors Philippe BOUTRY and Gilles PECOUT (University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne).

Of all the international events that had a significant effect on nineteenth-century Europe, it was Italian unification above all that not only set diplomatic service chattering, but also had a major effect upon on public opinion. As France played an important role in the events of the Risorgimento, these events received much media coverage in that country and sparked off important debates. Catholics were prominent in these debates owing to the perceived threat that a unified Italy might diminish the temporal power of the papacy. Despite the fact that the Catholics had constituted a pillar of the imperial regime in the 1850s, Napoleon III’s stand on Italian reunification caused a large number of them to break away from the regime.

My research aims to study the various attitudes of French Catholics towards Italian reunification, as well as the positions of the Opposition and how this Opposition would manifest itself. My thesis therefore aims to give a more comprehensive understanding of this defining moment in right-wing politicisation, in the context of the ongoing fight for freedom of education in the 1840s and before the different conflicts of the Third Republic. It will also take note of the different mutations of Catholicism in the middle of the nineteenth century, which were characterised both by a refocusing on the papacy as well as a greater intransigence on the part of certain Catholics regarding modern society.

• Frantz LAURENT, Charlemagne-Emile de Maupas (1818-1888) : étude d’une carrière politique et administrative sous le Second Empire, du ministère de la Police générale au Sénat.

PhD in History, supervised by Professor Eric ANCEAU (Paris IV Sorbonne University).

Charlemagne-Émile de Maupas was a mid-nineteenth-century préfet  turned politician, not to mention a discreet participant in the coup d’État of 2 December 1851. Over the last fifteen years, historians of the Second Empire have begun to rediscover his story. Claude Vigoureux, his first biographer, centred his PhD on Maupas the Paris préfet de police and his role in the preparation and execution of the coup d’État. The rest of his career remains to be explored. Thus, my thesis will study Maupas’ political and administrative career during the Second Empire. Much archive material is available related Maupas’ career as he moved from the Ministry of Police to the Sénat impérial, passing via the French legation to Naples and the prefecture of Bouches-du-Rhône, notably the huge file, 607 AP, at the Paris National Archives, which now has a detailed inventory (compiled in 2013). The aim of this thesis is to help in understanding how this “ideal”, indeed typical, notable (ie, public figure) built his career, using both his advantages of birth (financial, cultural and even symbolic) and the multiple networks available to him in Paris and in the provinces. Was Maupas a civil servant or was he a politician? He was in fact both, and his career is testimony to his great personal ambition, his membership of an elite which had strong ties to the State, to social conservatism and to the monarchy.



• Romuald FAYON, Aiglons et condors. L’influence du bonapartisme sur la vie politique contemporaine en Amérique latine.

PhD in History, supervised by Professors Jacques Olivier BOUDON (University Paris IV Sorbonne) and Clement THIBAUD (University of Nantes).

Bonapartism is generally seen as uniquely French, or, as a European phenomenon. It is not. Furthermore, it is possible to take the broad lines of Bonapartism as a specific category of political analysis and then to use these broad lines as a measure to see whether it is still influential upon contemporary leaders, notably outside Europe. Before now, historians and political experts had little interest in the influence of Bonapartism upon contemporary politics in Latin America. And yet, the connections between the two are nonetheless very real, from the Napoleonic ex-officers exiled across the Atlantic to the veterans of the Empire who rushed to join the revolutionary leaders there in their struggle for independence. Conversely, many Libertadores demonstrated their fervour for Napoleon or travelled to Europe to be closer to him.

Beyond these direct influences, this study aims to research and analyse the analogies, correlations and derivations that may exist between Bonapartism and Authoritarianism, or Populism, as seen in certain exemplary states (Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina). In Latin America, Authoritarianism and Populism still seem close to their revolutionary roots. But nonetheless, could they be qualified as “democratic caesarism” or “illiberal democracy”? Furthermore, is this simply an adapted and updated Bonapartism, or on the contrary has it been perverted and deformed? And is the influence of Bonapartism accepted and proudly proclaimed, or is it completely denied and suppressed?

• Annika HASS, Une maison d’édition et librairie transnationale entre Lumières et Romantisme (1770-1840).

PhD in History, supervised by Professors J. LUSEBRINK (University of the Sarre in Germany) and Frédéric BARBIER (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes).

Treuttel and Würtz, originally from Strasbourg, was a publishing house and booksellers before the Revolution and was to become a word-class international bookshop focusing on the Franco-German domain during the First Empire. In addition to their original location in Strasbourg, branches opened in Paris in 1796 and in London in 1817. Treuttel and Würtz’s published works included Goethe (the second translation of Hermann und Dorothea in French in 1800), Mme de Staël’s writings (the first edition of her complete works in 1820/1821) and Benjamin Constant’s works (the first edition of Adolphe in 1816). This catalogue of authors is proof of the numerous examples of Franco-German cultural interchange, as well as the influence of Protestantism (featured personalities included Paul-Jérémie Bitaubé, François Guizot, Charles de Villers, amongst others).

My research will be interdisciplinary, covering both the history of the book as well as the history of literary traditions, as much in France as in Germany and England. I will be working on primary and secondary source material in Strasbourg, Paris, London, Weimar, Neuchâtel, etc. In Paris, I shall be making a thorough study of “enregistrement des actes” at the Archives de Paris and in the Minutier central. I shall also systematically analyse Treuttel & Würtz’s editorial programme (Bibliothèque nationale de France).


Solène SAZIO, Hippolyte Bellangé (1800-1866), l’artiste en son temps.
PhD in History, supervised by professors Ségolène LE MEN and Yannick MAREC (University of Rouen).

Hippolyte Bellangé’s (1800-1866) career was a long one, extending from the Restoration to the Second Empire. After his first exhibition in 1822 and having studied with Antoine-Jean Gros, Bellangé established himself as one of the most prominent historical painters in the artist scene. The entirety of his œuvre is punctuated by portraits of Napoleon. Nor is this surprising, considering his overtly Bonapartist stance. And this Napoleonic imagery pops up in many of the genres he deployed, notably historical painting, genre painting, watercolour and lithography. Close study of these works reveals in fact the intimate connection between Bellangé’s historical painting and his political engagement. We may therefore be justified in using Bellangé’s output as a measure of the impact that Napoleonic images had upon the rise of Bonapartism in the middle of the nineteenth century.

Apart from his career as a painter, Bellangé’s life was equally marked by his work as curator of the Rouen Musée des Beaux-arts. An examination of his work here allows us to understand the origin of this developing profession and to comprehend the artistic networks active in Normandy during this period. Finally, of particular note was the artist’s varied clientele; this included the State, private collectors of both French and foreign origin, and traders. Study of Bellangé’s relations and those of his buyers gives a good example of the commercial strategies of a nineteenth-century artist.

This multi-disciplinary career is an excellent field of study and provides helpful pointers for understanding the career and status of an artist during the July Monarchy and the Second Empire, as well as offering a springboard for a study of the nature of political, profoundly patriotic and resolutely mainstream art.