Poland (and Feuilly)

Any research done in relation to the period of Les Misérables, whether for fanfiction or fanart purposes or otherwise.
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The Bricklayer
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Poland (and Feuilly)

Postby The Bricklayer » Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:49 am

When did the book say Feuilly became interested in Poland?
I know there was the Polish National Revolution from about 1830-34 because I came across it in my research on the Marquis de Lafayette. Also, I was wondering if anyone knows things I could read on the Polish National Revolution.
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Acaila
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Re: Poland (and Feuilly)

Postby Acaila » Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:18 am

He had for his specialty Greece, Poland, Hungary, Roumania, Italy. He uttered these names incessantly, appropriately and inappropriately, with the tenacity of right. The violations of Turkey on Greece and Thessaly, of Russia on Warsaw, of Austria on Venice, enraged him. Above all things, the great violence of 1772 aroused him. There is no more sovereign eloquence than the true in indignation; he was eloquent with that eloquence. He was inexhaustible on that infamous date of 1772, on the subject of that noble and valiant race suppressed by treason, and that three-sided crime, on that monstrous ambush, the prototype and pattern of all those horrible suppressions of states, which, since that time, have struck many a noble nation, and have annulled their certificate of birth, so to speak. All contemporary social crimes have their origin in the partition of Poland. The partition of Poland is a theorem of which all present political outrages are the corollaries. There has not been a despot, nor a traitor for nearly a century back, who has not signed, approved, counter-signed, and copied, ne variatur, the partition of Poland. When the record of modern treasons was examined, that was the first thing which made its appearance. The congress of Vienna consulted that crime before consummating its own. 1772 sounded the onset; 1815 was the death of the game. Such was Feuilly's habitual text. This poor workingman had constituted himself the tutor of Justice, and she recompensed him by rendering him great. The fact is, that there is eternity in right. Warsaw can no more be Tartar than Venice can be Teuton. Kings lose their pains and their honor in the attempt to make them so. Sooner or later, the submerged part floats to the surface and reappears. Greece becomes Greece again, Italy is once more Italy. The protest of right against the deed persists forever. The theft of a nation cannot be allowed by prescription. These lofty deeds of rascality have no future. A nation cannot have its mark extracted like a pocket handkerchief.


I remember there was some mention in the 1832 bit of Mark Traugott's Insurgent Barricade about Polish immigrants being around in the crowd at Lamarque's funeral actually.
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Re: Poland (and Feuilly)

Postby MmeBahorel » Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:28 am

It doesn't.

Feuilly is a character created post exile, generally on the model of a fanmaker named Alphonse Petit connected to the newspaper Hugo's sons were running at the time. Feuilly's internationalism - and the specific countries cited other than Greece - are a figment of 1848. Nothing is going on in Romania in the 1820s.

The major Polish exile population didn't come into France until after the failed November 1830 rising. Technically, the remaining men in Napoleon's Polish Legions were ordered home after his defeat, with possible very strong penalties for noncompliance (revocation of lands, imprisonment for failing to obey the return order, that sort of thing) for those in the Russian controlled region, but a handful accompanied him to St Helena and one can definitely start playing earlier than 1831 thanks to the Polish Legions. John Merriman, in his book The Margins of City Life: Explorations on the Urban Frontier, 1815-1851, mentions a Polish beggar named Joseph Larvenonski who was arrested in Reims in 1822, which a very odd date for a Pole to be wandering France with neither money nor work (Merriman directly reminds his readers that this is before the mass exile populations came in the early 1830s). So there were Poles in country, but not in the concentration Hugo is really thinking of, because Hugo is thinking of the exiles from the 1830s.

I dumped a bunch of information in the relevant chapter of the read-through thread, so I won't rehash it here. I've been deliberately using period sources that are likely highly biased because my conception of my characters requires it. So if you want good sources, I don't have any. Polish history has never been my thing, and what background I do have has generally been at a fairly high academic level strictly within a study of nationalisms. (plus a paper on the role of the catholic church in early communist Poland, but that's so far outside our scope that none of those references are at all helpful.)

Honestly, as far as I can tell, the wikipedia articles aren't bad and the sources are legit. If you want something more in depth than my message board posts, wikipedia is a good starting point for sources. Poland, Greece, Germany, and France are the big drivers of nationalism as a thing, all from different perspectives. But I don't have on hand a good Poland primer. You'll want something that covers the mongol invasions, the Black Madonna - all the basic cultural/historical markers. A basic description of Sarmatism. I'm going to recommend trying Adam Zamoyski, Poland: A History. I trust Zamoyski partly because people I trust have been very pleased with his Holy Madness: Romantics, Patriots, and Revolutionaries, 1776-1871, partly because his body of work includes the Napoleonic Wars and a bio of Stanislaw Poniatowski. And Anne Appelbaum, who is an American journalist married to the foreign minister of Poland, gave it a good review, which is a helpful perspective.
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between4walls
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Re: Poland (and Feuilly)

Postby between4walls » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:33 am

In case this wasn't clear from the previous answers: Feuilly is definitely interested in Poland before the 1830 uprising there, because it's mentioned in his description when we first meet the Amis in the late 20's.

I see the source you read re: Lafayette uses the term "Polish National Revolution," but that's not the usual way of describing the period. In fact it mostly seems to be used by that one author. This particular rebellion is usually distinguished from other Polish attempts to regain independence by either the month November or the year 1830, and called variously an uprising, an insurrection, or a revolution depending on the source. So searching with November 1830 in mind will get you more sources on this revolution than looking for stuff on the Polish National Revolution.

Unfortunately I've not read anything on the 1830 revolution in Poland, other than what comes up incidentally when reading Russian history. One figure you might find interesting re: Polish nationalism, 1830, and emigres in Paris is Adam Mickiewicz, Poland's national poet, who lived in Paris starting in 1832. His major works and his emigre period are just slightly outside of our period, though.
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Re: Poland (and Feuilly)

Postby The Bricklayer » Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:48 pm

Okay, thanks for the help!
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Re: Poland (and Feuilly)

Postby freedomlover » Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:27 pm

somebody probably shared this already but a highly dramatized account
https://archive.org/details/lifeofcountessem00stra

and an even more dramatized account put on my some friends at my university
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_zdjfo736k
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