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2014 | 1 | 21-40

Article title

Idealistic View on the Reality of Revolution: Helen Maria Williams (1762–1827)


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The French Revolution had in that time fundamental importance and affected by different intensity also ideological developments in other European countries including the United Kingdom. Helen Maria Williams was known in England as a popular English poet and romantic writer. As well as many foreign admirers of Revolution also Williams left her native country under the influence of French Revolution events. In Paris she immediately succumbed to the Federation Festival charm. Williams’s almost uncritical revolutionary idealism remained until the time when The Mountain (La Montagne) was established and its terror started to dominate the Revolution. From 1790 to 1796 Williams published eight volumes of Letters from France and in this way she informed the British public about revolutionary events. Williams’s Letters are also an important source of information needed for understanding her relationship to the revolutionary events. In my article I will focus not only on some of her views on the Revolution but I will also deal with the reaction of British press to her Letters. The important part of this article will be the question of women’s rights because Williams devoted a large part of her work just the fate of women during the Revolution.


  • Institute of World History, Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague, Nám. J. Palacha 2, 116 38 Prague, Czech Republic


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Publication order reference


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