To Make a Revolutionary Cuisine: Gender and Politics in French Kitchens, 1789–1815

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Abstract

This essay investigates the political significance of gender in French kitchens and cuisine during the French Revolution. Integrating a wide range of published and archival sources, it highlights the brief moment when women's work as cooks symbolised republican virtues, before examining the forces that ultimately retrieved male cooks’ reputations from association with their aristocratic employers to be considered artisans emblematic of a new nation that integrated the past glories and the present ideals of France.

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