The importance of things, the vitality and mobility of objects, their ability to offer different viewpoints on life in the past, are all themes that have emerged from the many recent historical studies on material culture. However, the political life of objects has not yet been fully investigated.
This volume offers new analytical reflections and insights through a number of European case studies, and in this way reconstructs a material history of politics in the very significant period known as the Age of Revolutions. From the late 18th century and through much of the 19th century, various kinds of objects (pocket-sized, decorative, clothing and other) played an important role in the processes of politicisation and mobilisation that accompanied, preceded and followed revolutionary episodes.
Examining political action through material objects gives us deeper insight into the activities and behaviours of men and women in the past and allows us to cross-reference different analytical perspectives that rarely interact.
- Enrico Francia, Carlotta Sorba, Introduction: The Political Life of Objects
- I. Objects in Action
- Rolf Reichardt, Political Objects in the French Revolution: The Case of the Bastille
- Arianna Arisi Rota, The Violet, the Eagle and Beyond: Collecting, Touching and Wearing Napoleonic Nostalgia in the Italian Risorgimento
- Álvaro París, Jordi Roca Vernet, Green Ribbons and Red Berets: Political Objects and Clothing in Spain (1808-1843)
- Simon Morgan, Material Radicalism: Commemorative Ceramics and Political Narratives in the Age of Peterloo
- II. Objects and Narration
- Sandro Morachioli, Not Just Print Culture: Small-Size Sculptures and Street Vendors in the Visual Culture of the Risorgimento
- Alessio Petrizzo, Return to Order, and Material Culture: Missing Objects, Anti-Republican Narratives and Police Practices in Rome after 1849
- Roberto Balzani, Synecdoche: The Unforeseen Fate of Evocative Objects
- III. Objects as Relics and Memory
- Silvia Cavicchioli, The Politics of Memory: Heirlooms and Relics of Patriots, Fighters and Martyrs of the Italian Risorgimento
- Marina Tesoro, Adelaide’s Buttons: Fetishism, Domestic Cult and Museum Heritage in the Pavia Risorgimento
- Index of Names
Cover illustration: Joseph-Louis-Hippolyte Bellangé, Le marchand de plâtres ambulant, colporteur de figurines napoléoniennes (1833). Paris, Musée du Louvre