The Place of Words: The Académie Française and Its Dictionary during an Age of Revolution

Fitzsimmons, Michael P.
Date published: 
February 2018

A Place of Words examines the fifth and most controversial edition of the dictionary of the Académie Française, published in 1798 and spanning several regimes before the publication of the sixth in 1835. Full of anachronisms and appearing to slight the French Revolution, from the outset the edition received much judgement and critique. Under the Consulate, the government used it as an instrument to assert control over the language. As the first book-length study of this controversial fifth edition, A Place of Words offers insights into the Revolution and Napoleonic periods neglected in previous scholarship.