Almanac

Maria Tamboukou

We all think we know what an almanac is, but do we really? Almanacs have some unexpected histories that I accidentally discovered when doing archival research for a feminist genealogy of the Parisian seamstress (Tamboukou, 2015). When in 1851 Jeanne Deroin was released from the Saint-Lazare’s Prison in Paris, serving a 6 months’ sentence for political conspiracy against Napoleon Bonaparte’s government, she went back to her political work and among other activities she published the first volume of L’Almanach des Femmes (Women’s Almanac). In her introduction to the first volume Deroin felt the need to justify the title to her readers: ‘Today an Almanac should not only indicate variations in temperature and the course of the stars, but also the variations in the diverse tendencies of the spirits and the progress of the social truths that contain the prophesy of a better future’ she wrote (Deroin, 1852, p.9). The title was obviously chosen to avoid censorship, but soon after its publication, Deroin took the role of exile to London to avoid the persecutions of Bonaparte’s coup. While in London and struggling to survive, she published two more volumes of the Almanac in 1853 and 1854. The 1853 edition was bilingual, the first feminist bilingual publication marking the internationalization of the feminist movement and confronting issues of not being lost in translation that are still prevalent in contemporary feminism and beyond.

Keywords: Jeanne Deroin, Paris, London, seamstresses
Genealogies: 19th century French Feminism

References
Deroin, Jeanne. (1852). Almanach des Femmes pour 1852. 1re année. Paris: Jeanne Deroin.
Deroin, Jeanne. (1853). Women’s Almanac for 1853, in the English and French Languages /Almanach des Femmes, Seconde Année. London: J. Watson.
Deroin, Jeanne. (1854). Almanach des Femmes pour 1854: Troisième Année. Londres: J. Watson.
Tamboukou, Maria. (2015). Sewing, Fighting and Writing: Radical Practices in Work, Politics and Culture. London: Rowman and Littlefield.

COST Action IS1307 New Materialism: Networking European Scholarship on 'How Matter Comes to Matter'.

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With the changing of societies on local, national and international scales owing to economic, ecological, political and technological developments and crises, a reorganized academic landscape can be observed to be emerging. Scholarship strives to become increasingly interdisciplinary in order to grasp and examine the unfolding complexity of ongoing ecological, socio-cultural and politico-economic changes. Additionally, academics forge... Read more or find out Who's Who

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