The role which narrative discourse plays in the writing of history is an area of increasing interest to historians and literary theorists, resulting in some of the most stimulating and controversial historiographical work in recent years. The rhetoric of historical representation represents one of the first attempts to carry out a sustained textual analysis of historiographical practice. Ann Rigney focusses on three celebrated nineteenth-century histories of the French Revolution, written by Alphonse de Lamartine, Jules Michelet and Louis Blanc. What distinguishes her account is the sensitivity and sophistication with which she handles the semiotic issues each text raises. She shows how a greater understanding of the specific features of historical narration can be achieved through a comparative analysis of the different representations of a common event. This fresh new perspective on a long-standing historiographical debate brings into relief the ways in which the narrative medium can be used to invest events with one significance rather than another.
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(228mm x 152mm x 12mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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