Speaking from the Heart: The Dichotomy of the Letters in the 1843 and 1844 Correspondence

  • Máire Fedelma Cross


In Chapter 1 a case has been made for studying Flora Tristan’s politics outside the biographical framework but within the specific context of her correspondence. It was suggested that the epistolary framework could also provide the necessary methodology. In Chapter 2 the historical context of Tristan’s nomadic politics is described as the ‘breeding ground’ for the correspondence. This third chapter examines the discourse of the epistolary exchanges in a selection of Tristan’s correspondence. As this study is aiming to move beyond both the Tristan-centred bio-graphical approach and the history of the major thinkers of utopian socialism the discursive content of the letters is invaluable; even with gaps they are evidence of the immediate impact of a campaign at a very precise moment in grass-roots socialism. The letters are the archaeological site for the mentalities of her correspondents. As with the remains of ancient history the letters give us fleeting glimpses, producing as many questions as answers.


Socialist Politics Political Literacy Rhetorical Style Utopian Socialism Major Thinker 
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© Máire Fedelma Cross 2004

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  • Máire Fedelma Cross

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