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Contesting national and gender boundaries: Flora Tristan's Promenades dans Londres.

Flora Tristan (1803-44) was a celebrated and well known French feminist and socialist whose works appealed to a wide audience. Promenades dans Londres (1840), for instance, sold well and went through four editions between 1840 and 1842. Even after her death, Tristan was an important figure in the French workers movement and, as Claire Goldberg Moses puts it in French Feminism in the Nineteenth Century, "perhaps the most celebrated of all nineteenth-century French feminists" (l07). Tristan owed this success very much to the fact that she was "an extremely audacious, rhetorically gifted, and formidable social critic" to use Kathleen Hart's words (452).

This article will investigate Tristan's rhetorical strategies, particularly how she uses discourses on nationality and ideas of foreignness and exclusion to publicise her radical feminist ideas. (1) Its main claim is that in Promenades dans Londres, Tristan uses "othering" as a means to manipulate power relationships in regard to nation, race, gender and class and at the same rime constructs herself as an outsider and victim of exclusion. (2) Playing with different positions and perspectives, Tristan challenges Western patriarchal society.

Notions of foreignness pervade Tristan's work. For instance, in her first brochure, Necessite de faire un bon accueil aux femmes etrangeres (1835), she discusses the problems of foreign women in Paris. Moreover, Tristan repeatedly constructs herself as a foreigner or outsider throughout her work. In Peregrinations d'une paria (1838), for example, she insists on the fact that her father's relatives did not consider her to be a legitimate child of her father and a full member of the Tristan family, (3) Likewise, in her letters, published under the title Flora Tristan. La Paria et son reve. Correspondance etablie par Stephane Michaud, Tristan casts herself in the role of a foreigner and outsider. She writes, for instance, to her portraitist in 1839: "Songez, mon frere, que ce portrait sera celui de la Paria--de la femme nee Andalouse et condamnee par la Societe a passer sa jeunesse dans les larmes et sans amour!" (114). She associates the word "paria" not only with being a stranger, emphasizing her foreign origins, but also with being condemned and stigmatized by society. (4) In her later works, for instance in Union ouvriere, she describes not only all women as pariahs but also workers and other peoples whom she considers to be oppressed, such as the Irish (44-45).

Tristan was very conscious of the advantages of foreignness. As Deborah Epstein Nord outlines in Walking the Victorian Streets. Women, Representation and the City, Tristan, during her travels, took advantage of the fact that a foreigner is afforded some license by her host society and is often less bound by constraints (121). In her works, writing about other countries, as in Peregrinations d'une paria (1838), and Promenades dans Londres, allowed her to spread her radical ideas on Western society in spite of the rigorous censorship under the July Monarchy.

Tristan's preoccupation with foreignness has been analyzed in a recent study, Flora Tristan, la paria et la femme etrangere dans son oeuvre by Porfirio Mamani Macedo. He emphasizes Tristan's international solidarity and universality in her engagement with social improvement claiming that "chez elle le nationalisme s'effacera totalement pour laisser place a l'idee que le monde doit etre la commune patrie de tous les hommes" (36). Tristan indeed proclaims a certain international solidarity. However, she also clearly deploys ideologies of nationality and class.

Throughout Promenades dans Londres the English population is repeatedly marked as "other" and inferior. At the same time, Tristan casts herself in the role of a disinterested and invisible observer and knowledgeable narrator who describes another nation. One of the scenes where this becomes particularly apparent takes place in the English brothel where men and women are debased and objectified, and are seen to be offering themselves to the disinterested gaze of the superior observer (76). In another scene she aligns herself with Western travelers to the East. She relates how she disguised herself as a Turkish man to enter the Houses of Parliament because women were not admitted, and--as will be demonstrated--describes the Houses of Parliaments like a Turkish bath or harem. For contemporary readers the dress she describes would have aligned her with English travelers to the Orient such as Lady Mary Wortley Montagu or Hester Stanhope. Montagu had several paintings and engravings made of herself in Turkish attire, for instance in the edition of 1837 of her Letters. The notorious Hester Stanhope, who died in June 1839, just at the rime when Tristan was in London to research for her book, is reported to have worn the attire of a Turkish man during most of the time she spent in the East, from 1811 to the end of her life (Hodgson 81-85). (5) Members of Parliament may also have been reminded of the intrepid Ladies Montagu and Stanhope by Tristan's dress and description.

As Reina Lewis explains in Gendering Orientalism, the position of the Western traveler places women as superior in "the West/East divide of colonialism" (4-5). Tristan adopts the position of the traveler to the East to gain authority as a narrator. For the same reason, she emphasizes the difference between herself and the "other," the English population she describes. Her identity as a woman, which positions her as inferior in patriarchal Western societies, appears very seldom and is normally linked to her political agenda.

The "othering" of English people takes a particularly strong form when Tristan orientalises the English Parliament. She penetrates the English Parliament as if it were a seraglio or harem. The Members of Parliament are represented as dull and purposelessly lounging around, a stereotype Orientalist impression often made of the women of a harem: (6)
   Les honorables s'etendent sur les bancs, en hommes fatigues et
   ennuyes; plusieurs sont couches entierement et dorment.... C'est du
   bon ton parlementaire de se preseuter a la seance tout crotte, le
   parapluie sous le bras, en costume de matin, d'arriver a cheval....
   En general, les orateurs parlent tres longuement; ils sont habitues
   a ce qu'on ne leur prete aucune attention et paraissent eux-memes
   ne pas prendre un vif interet a ce qu'ils disent. (53-54)

Tristan's description questions the Members of Parliament's class, their gender and their nationality. Negligent clothing and more importantly dirt were commonly seen as characteristics of the lower classes. Moreover her description evokes oriental women through the focus on their clothes and bodies but also through their posture and behavior. She insists on their passivity and does not report their speeches, claiming that she didn't understand them. Their actions and movements are elided by the use of expressions such as "la voix monotone de ces figures de cire" (54). In deploying such a focus, she feminizes the men and characterizes them as non-English. This questioning of their identity is emphasized by the expression "les honorables" which does not determine the subject and ironically questions their honor. Because the concept of Englishness depends upon the Empire and the "civilizing mission," the parallel between the Houses of Parliament and a harem also questions the idea that England is an advanced, civilized society (Fraser, Green and Johnston 126).

Tristan not only aligns the Members of Parliament with "ethnic others" she also accuses them of lacking manners and courtesy to women, therefore once more undermining their much vaunted "Englishness" (Morgan 131). When Tristan enters the Parliament disguised as a Turkish man, soon the entire House is aware of the fact that she is a woman. In a move which seems to some critics illogical, she expects to be treated as a lady, despite her disguise: (7)
   Eh bien! sans nul egard pour ma qualite de femme et d'etrangere, et
   pour mon deguisement, tous ces gentlemen me lorgnaient, parlaient
   de moi entre eux et tout haut, venaient passer devant moi, me
   regardaient effrontement sous le nez, puis ... s'exprimant a haute
   voix afin que nous puissions les entendre, ils disaient en
   francais: "Pourquoi cette femme s'est-elle introduite dans la
   Chambre? ... Ce doit etre une Francaise.--Elles sont habituees a ne
   rien respecter.--Mais, en verite, c'est indecent!--L'huissier
   devrait la faire sortir." Puis ils allaient parler aux huissiers,
   et ceux-ci me regardaient; d'autres couraient le dite a des membres
   de la Chambre, qui se derangeaient de leur place pour venir me
   regarder, J'etais sur des epines! Quel manque de convenances et
   d'hospitalite! (53)

Tristan stresses the impolite curiosity and undistinguished behavior by using verbs of intense activity, "lorgner," "parler haut," "venir passer," "regarder effrontement," "s'exprimer a haute voix," and even "courir" which contrast with the ideals of dignity and distinction as well as with the apathy and disinterest she describes later. In the whole passage, Tristan foregrounds the lack of manners and distinction of the Members of Parliament.

This focus is emphasized by intertextuality. Tristan constructs the scene in parallel to a passage in Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's Turkish Embassy Letters. (8) These Letters, and particularly her description of Turkish women, seem to be a key document about the Orient in the first half of the nineteenth century. They were continually re-edited during Tristan's life rime and therefore, contemporary readers might well have been aware of the parallel between the scene in the Parliament and Montagu's narrative. In the Turkish bath, Montagu is surrounded by naked Turkish women:
      I was in my travelling Habit, which is a rideing dress, and
   certainly appear'd very extraordinary to them, yet there was not
   one of 'em that shew'd the least surprize or impertinent Curiosity,
   but receiv'd me with all the obliging civility possible. I know no
   European Court where the Ladys would have behav'd them selves in so
   polite a manner to a stranger.

      I believe, upon the whole there were 200 Women and yet none of
   those disdainfull smiles or satyric whispers that never fail in our
   assemblys when any body appears that is not dress'd exactly in
   fashion. (1: 313)

Whereas Montagu stresses the politeness of the women, Tristan lengthily dwells on the Member's "impolitesse," "grossierete," and "brutalite." She narrates how the Members of Parliament do not restrain themselves to "disdainful smiles" and "satirical whispers" but speak loudly about the stranger, in French, the language they assume she understands, in order to express their outrage as clearly as they possibly can. Their mocking attitude contrasts with the politeness and civility the Turkish women show towards the foreigner. Tristan's construction of this scene in parallel to Montagu's text emphasizes her point that the Members of Parliament have no manners and therefore lack a characteristic which is deemed to be typical of English civilization. (9)

At the same rime, the textual parallel puts the scene in the parliament in a different perspective and gives it another meaning. While an intruder of another nationality and in a singular dress appears in a numerous assembly in both scenes, there is one important difference. Montagu, visiting a Turkish bath, is not transgressing gender boundaries. Tristan, however, transgresses both gender and ethnic boundaries by entering the Parliament which is forbidden to women, and by disguising herself as a Turkish man. She hides this fact both through the parallel to Montagu's text and through her expression of disgust and outrage at the impolite behavior of the members of Parliament. As her transgressions, which would explain the behavior of the Members of Parliament for an English audience, are elided from the text, Tristan normalizes her own behavior and presents herself as a victim of the rude and inhospitable behavior of the Members of Parliament.

Tristan's earlier work, Necessite de faire un bon accueil aux femmes etrangeres, suggests the same reading of the scene. In it, Tristan links the good treatment of women to civilization and progress and announces the Promenades dans Londres as a work which would show how foreign women are received in England (67). Readers of her earlier work would therefore be led to understand the scene in the Parliament as an example of inhospitality and conclude that England is not the advanced country it pretends to be.

The elision of Tristan's transgressions is an interesting strategy that appears repeatedly in her work. An example can be found in L'Emancipation de la femme ou le testament de la paria, a posthumous work based on her notes: "J'ai ete femme, j'ai ete mere, et la societe m'a broye le Cceur. J'ai ete assassinee, parce que je protestais contre l'infamie, et la societe m'a fletrie en condamnant a regret mon assassin. Maintenant, je ne suis plus une femme, je ne suis plus une mere, je suis la paria!" (12-13).

These lines allude to the following biographical background: Tristan and her husband both tried to have custody of their daughter Mine. After he had abducted her several times, Mine and Tristan accused him of incest. He published a Memoire to justify himself (Grogan 32). Soon after, Tristan revealed personal details in her Peregrinations or, as she puts it in the above quotation: "j'ai proteste contre l'infamie." One month after the publication of the Peregrinations, he shot her (Michaud 55-56). During his trial, his defendant tried to justify the murder attempt by accusing Tristan. In the above quotation, she plays on the contradiction between herself as a victim of the murderer and the perception of her as a culprit, which might have been shared by many contemporaries because leaving one's husband was illegal. Tristan stresses that society (the tribunal) did not wholeheartedly take her side and rather accused her, instead of considering her as a victim. This incident is a crucial element to her construction of herself as a pariah. She presents herself as excluded from society and deprived of the social roles of woman and wife. By casting herself in the role of the victim of society, a role which implies passivity, she disguises all her activities that do not conform to the social rules and laws of the period. At the same time she accuses society. The word "fletrir" in the above mentioned passage is often used for "withering" in relation to flowers. It suggests the idea that society acts against the natural order. In brief, Tristan adopts the position of an outsider to criticize society.

In the preface to Peregrinations d'une paria Tristan establishes the procedure of accusing the oppressors and disclosing the acts of the oppressed as a program: "Si les lois ne sont pas egales pour tous, si des prejuges religieux ou autres reconnaissent une classe de PARIAS, oh! alors, le meme devouement qui nous porte a signaler l'oppresseur au mepris doit nous faire jeter un voile sur la conduite de l'opprime qui cherche a echapper au joug" (23).

Tristan describes here a program for resistance by denouncing the powerful and by passing in silence over the conduct of the oppressed. She uses the metaphor "jeter un voile" which is fraught with meaning. In the Peregrinations Tristan shows that she is very conscious of the power a veil can confer. She describes the women of Lima who wear a saya which covers them completely and conceals their rank and identity, even to their husbands. This disguise allows them to go out on their own and to do whatever pleases them (2: 366-81). Tristan romanticizes these dresses which literally cast a veil over women's conduct and provide freedom of action and power.

Exotic dresses have been described as symbols of freedom before, for instance in Montagu's Embassy Letters, or in works by Lady Elizabeth Craven and Julia Pardoe, published two years before Tristan's Promenades dans Londres (Hodgson 113). Mary Louise Pratt argues that Tristan might have been inspired by Montagu for her description of the Limeniennes (167). The fact that Tristan compares their dresses to oriental costumes backs Pratt's argument.

Tristan is very conscious of the fact that the veil may be seen as an instrument which not only empowers women bur also disempowers men. According to the ideas Foucault illustrates with the example of the Bentham panopticon, power frequently relies upon its capacities of surveillance, which presuppose the ability to observe others (135-69). Through the veil, the power relation between men and women and between Western traveler and indigenous woman are reversed. Tristan illustrates this point by describing the veil as an obstacle to the scopophilic pleasure of Western men in the Orient. She insists particularly on the Limeniennes' grace and beauty and claims that Western men commit "folies" and "extravagances" to get a glimpse of them, thereby emphasizing their relative powerlessness, as Lima's women remain anonymous and uncontrollable (2: 372).

The phrase "to cast a veil over the conduct of the oppressed" has another implication which is ethically problematic. The actions Tristan would like to conceal are considered illegal in her society, for instance leaving a husband or entering the Houses of Parliament as a woman. It is significant that Tristan criticizes the Code Napoleon for making "non-disclosure of a crime a crime itself," a law which complicates the situation of outlaws like herself (London Journal 21). (10) In her writing Tristan carefully chooses images and rhetorical strategies in order to reveal and conceal what suits her purpose. The use of the metaphor "cast a veil" conceals the fact that this strategy is ethically problematic.

Tristan considers this strategy as part of her mission. Influenced by Saint-Simonians and Fourierists, she saw herself as a messiah or prophet and asserts this idea repeatedly in her letters: "Que les disciples du Christ, de Saint-Simon, de Fourier, de Flora Tristan (quand elle en aura--ce qui sera avant 10 ans), que les disciples posent, c'est un fait que je ne nie pas et qui est meme providentiel" (124).

Tristan provocatively aligns herself with Christ, political leaders such as the revolutionaries of 1789, as well as the social reformers and announces that she is a prophet chosen by God to induce social and economic changes. Writing Promenades dans Londres is part of her mission as a messiah who aims at improving society. Tristan regards giving publicity to her ideas as her main task which overrules any other considerations. This includes consciously establishing a reputation, "poser;' as she remarks in the above quotation about the disciples of Christ. In the same letter she argues that, because people are stupid, the spreading of ideas needs "charlatans" and "bavards;' both expressions which stress more the publicity aspect than exact relation of facts. In another letter to her friend Olympe Chodzko, Tristan explicitly discusses what should be publicly said and what should be concealed (121). This careful choice of what should get published allows her to posit another ethic or social order as the "truth." She naturalizes alternative rules and accuses society of acting against them, therefore proposing a new set of rules. Rabine similarly argues in regard to Peregrinations d'une paria that Tristan's writing is not based on "truth" patriarchal law, bur on positions and that she refuses to play the roles assigned to her by society (daughter and wife) and stages her own theatre in which she is not only an actor but a playwright and director. She also outlines that "by staging these scenes Tristan establishes a fiction that can compete with the patriarchal fictions called society" (131). Conventions of society are revealed to be fictions and patriarchal rules shown to be contingent. This is what she does in the description of the Houses of Parliament when she plays down the fact that she is trespassing in order to question patriarchy and the British Empire. Writing Promenades dans Londres is therefore clearly part of her mission as a messiah.

Tristan's choice of the disguise as a Turkish man is also part of this mission to undermine patriarchal society. In the text, Tristan does not offer a convincing explanation for her choice. To enter the Houses of Parliament in cross-gender disguise would have served her purpose. Tristan claims that she initially approached a Member of Parliament and the French, German and Spanish Ambassadors who all refused to lend her men's clothes and help her gain access to the Parliament. While the Member of Parliament was subjected to prejudice and hypocritically pretends to be shocked by her proposition and the European Ambassadors fear to compromise themselves, the Turkish obliges her and is very considerate. Tristan implies that he is the one who most acts like an enlightened and civilized man, reversing once more the binary between supposedly civilized and barbaric nations.

At first, the choice of an oriental disguise is difficult to explain in spite of some practical advantages. Turkish dress normally consisted of trousers and long robes which were loose and would hide the form of the body. Therefore, it was more suitable as a disguise than the costume of a European man. Also, Tristan might have felt less awkward in a dress which she or other women had worn to fancy dress balls. (11) The eighteenth-century tradition of public masquerade was still alive in France and increasingly linked to exoticism (Castle 335). But the choice of the Orientalist disguise seems incongruous as it does not serve as camouflage and attracts the attention of passers-by and of the whole House of Commons. Nor can it be seen as an orientalising self-fashioning. The disguise is not described and only mentioned as "un riche costume de turc" (52). Nord argues that the dress provided Tristan with a sense of invisibility and invulnerability. She claims that for some of the nineteenth-century women who used disguise, it was not necessary that the disguise was convincing (118-19). For instance George Sand in man's clothes was perceived neither as a woman nor as a man but as "other" and therefore had more freedom. In the case of Tristan, Nord argues similarly: "The camouflage is thus meant not to conceal her identity but to furnish her with a sense of invulnerability by inhibiting the responses of others" (121). I agree with Nord that Tristan's disguise was not meant to disguise her identity as a woman. Tristan rather chose a Turkish dress because it was not a clear marker of gender. Therefore, it allowed her both to enter the Houses of Parliament and to be present as a woman. But, as I will show, the intention of the disguise was not to inhibit responses, bur on the contrary, to provoke them and to make a public statement.

Tristan clearly wanted to be recognized as a woman and to provoke reactions by the Members of Parliament. She would have known that the intrusion of a woman would not be ignored. Her insistence on the fact that she was the only focus of interest of the whole Parliament betrays her pleasure at her triumph. Tristan's presence as a woman within "le sanctuaire de la puissance male" was a provocation, the gesture of an activist (51).

The various connotations of Turkish dress heightened this provocation. It aligned her with the two travelers Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and Hester Stan hope who were members of the upper class. Montagu's husband was a Member of Parliament and Hester Stanhope was the niece of the Prime Minister, William Pitt, with whom she spent several years before his death (Hodgson 81-85). In brief, the two women were highly regarded members of English society and their preferred clothing recalls women who were by no means powerless.

The scene in the Parliament becomes even more significant when considered in the light of the life and convictions of the two women. Because of their high class status, neither Montagu nor Stanhope was compelled to conform to the ideologies of feminine behavior in the period. Mary eloped with Montagu to escape an arranged marriage and Hester Stanhope took a young lover during her travels. Montagu was a feminist. A publication titled Woman not Inferior to Man: Or, A Short and Modest Vindication of the Natural Right of the Fair- Sex to a Perfect Equality of Power, Dignity and Esteem with the Men / Sophia, a Person of Quality has been attributed to her. According to Lamartine, Stanhope made no secret of her conviction that the Western world was not well organized and needed a messiah to bring about thorough change (223-27). Middle-class women would have been mocked and pilloried for identical behavior, and would not have had their writing reviewed in the major journals of the day. Tristan, by taking a Turkish disguise aligns herself with women who, like her, rejected important conventions of Western society.

The legends surrounding Hester Stanhope represent her as a very powerful woman among the inhabitants of the Orient. Alexander Kinglake calls her "the Queen of the desert" and the different sources relate that she was extremely well received and respected by the Arabs (63). Interestingly, this veneration was shared by Lamartine. He mentions her "traits nobles doux et majestueux," and describes her as a heroic woman with a strong will, almost supernatural strength and perseverance (217, 222). Lamartine even suggests that she had some visionary powers as she was reading him like a book, and vaguely implies that she had a role at the side of the messiah she was expecting. The image of the queen of Arabs and repeated affirmations that Stanhope inspired admiration might have given Tristan the awareness of the possibilities for Western women in the East and inspired her to use Turkish dress for her triumphant public statement in the Parliament.

Tristan's presence in the houses of Parliament in a Turkish dress was provocative also owing to the political associations it evoked. In 1839, just at the time when Tristan was in London to research for her book, the Pacha Mehemet Ali of Egypt was victorious in the battle of Nezib against Sultan Mahmoud. This victory meant that Syria, fell into the hands of the Sultan's vassal, the Pacha. There was concern that he would march towards the Turkish capital. Different states sent troops into the region and diplomatic activity was at its height. From September to December 1839, when Tristan was writing her Promenades dans Londres, the Orient question was a constant theme in the newspapers. The crisis brought to the fore the conflict of interest between England and France in the Orient. So, Tristan's Turkish dress represents this conflict and challenges England's imperial and commercial aspirations.

The incident of Tristan's appearance in the Parliament is recorded nowhere, neither in the Times, nor in George Henry Jennings's Anecdotal History of Parliament (419-20). The Journal of the Parliamentary sessions and the Hansard give no indication either. So, either Tristan's appearance as agent provocateur did not change the usual procedures of parliamentary sessions or Tristan only created the scene and her role in the text. (12) At any rate, she obviously attributes some importance to the provocative image of herself, as a woman, in the Houses of Parliament as she published this chapter separately in the journal Le Nouveau Monde (21 May 1840).

In conclusion, Tristan successfully criticizes Western society and its ideologies through a conscious and clever metaphoric use of discourses on nationality. At the same time she endorses the role of a messiah who has the mission of creating a better and advanced civilization. Thus, she takes advantage of ideologies of gender and nationality while subverting them. Nonetheless, this play with different positions allows her to create her own version of reality with different ethical rules which do not correspond to that of patriarchal society. This strategy has obviously contributed to making her a very well known socialist and feminist.


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Tristan, Flora. Flora Tristan: La Paria et son reve. Correspondance etablie par Stephane Michaud. Ed. Stephane Michaud. Paris: Presses Sorbonne Nouvelle, 2003.

--. Flora Tristan's London Journal: A Survey of London Life in the 1830s. Trans.

Dennis Palmer and Giselle Pincetl. London: George Prior, 1980. Trans. of Promenades dans Londres.

--. Necessite de faire un bon accueil aux femmes etrangeres. 1835. Ed. Denys Cuche. Paris: L'Harmattan, 1988.

---. Peregrinations d'une paria 1833-1834. Vols. 1 and 2. Paris: Reproduction numerique BNF de l'ed. de. Paris: A. Bertrand, 1838. Bibliotheque nacionale de France. Web. 15 Dec. 2007.

--. Promenades dans Londres: 1842 L'Aristocratie & les proletaires anglais. Paris: Indigo & Cote-femmes, 2001.

--. Union ouvriere contenant un chant: La Marseillaise de l'atelier mise en musique par A. Thys. Paris: Chez tous les librairies, 1844.

Barbara Pauk

M203 European Languages and Studies / English and Cultural Studies

School of Humanities and Social and Cultural Studies

University of Western Australia

35 Stirling Highway, Crawley WA 6009



(1) Although some of her strategies aim also at revealing the workers' oppression, the focus here will be on her feminism.

(2) The terra "othering" is used here in a wide sense, characterising not only the creation of difference between West and East bur also with regard to nation, gender and class.

(3) Tristan's Peruvian father was in the service of the Spanish king. As he married his French wife without getting the king's permission, the marriage was not considered to be valid when he died a few years later. Tristan's emphasis on the fact that she was not seen as a full member of the family and deprived of her inheritance contrasts with her description of the warm welcome she received from her uncle and his family.

(4) The word "pariah," which derives from Sanskrit, designs a person on the lowest social level, an untouchable in Indian culture (Mamani Macedo 11). The Historical Dictionary of the French Language states that in the nineteenth century, the word was used for a person who was despised and banned by the collectivity. This sense was widely known owing to the tragedy by C. Delavigne: Le Paria (1824).

(5) Tristan may well have read Alphonse de Lamartine's Souvenirs which contains a chapter about Stanhope. It was published in 1835. As other travelers visited Stanhope, for instance Alexander William Kinglake in 1835 and Prince Herman Pueckler-Muskau, she was certainly talked about in London. Kinglake integrated a chapter about Hester Stanhope in Eothen which was first published in 1844. Pueckler-Muskau's account was published in English in 1845.

(6) For example, Harriet Martineau describes harem women in this way as "dull, soul-less, brutish, or peevish." She sees them as unable to understand that women might have something active to do (2: 155).

(7) For instance Evelyne Bloch-Dano states: Tristan "se plaint sans aucune logique" (233).

(8) Tristan refers to Montagu's travel writing in Promenades dans Londres (205).

(9) Tristan relates that she experienced a much better treatment in the House of Lords where these "veritables gentlemen" showed respect (55). Here, her strong class bias appears. She was also immensely proud of her aristocratic ancestors. Inspite of this difference, she orientalises the members of both Houses.

(10) This part of the chapter "Foreigners in London" does not exist in the French edition I am using.

(11) We do not know if Tristan wore oriental dress to fancy dress parties but Dominique Desanti asserts--without reference--that Tristan went to a ball in a saya, the traditional dress of Lima. Susan Grogan states that Tristan had made a saya which was amongst her possessions when she died (161 and 178 footnote 47).

(12) Tristan might have been inspired by an anecdote Montagu reports in her letters of women who forced admission into the House of Lords or by the discussion about the admission of ladies into the strangers' gallery of the House of Commons in 1835 (2: 136). However, contrary to what Nord asserts, the House did not grant admission to women. (Nord 120 footnote 13, Hansard 29: 637-41; 30: 49; 33: 812-13)
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Author:Pauk, Barbara
Publication:Nineteenth-Century French Studies
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Sep 22, 2008
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