In the Footsteps of Flora Tristan
A Political Biography
Cross, Máire Fedelma
Studies in Labour History, 14
Liverpool University Press
September 3rd, 2020
In the Footsteps of Flora Tristan is the first ever study devoted to Jules Puech (1879–1957), and is a double biography that examines his life’s work on Flora Tristan (1803–1844), feminist and socialist. It begins by examining newly found press reports of Flora Tristan during her lifetime and subsequently, then positions Puech’s discovery of her, as a postgraduate student in Paris in the 1900s. It continues with an account of how he embarked on the first in-depth biography published in 1925. Puech was unmatched in his expertise as a writer on Flora Tristan having discovered her papers through his numerous political connections and having become a historian of Proudhon’s legacy on the international aspirations of the labour movement. Together with his wife Marie-Louise Puech, née Milhau (1876-1966), suffragist feminist, he was a militant in the early twentieth-century pacifist movement that advocated international arbitration. His research on Flora Tristan was enriched by his other projects but was thwarted by the wars of 1914–1918 and 1940–1945. The circumstances of the long gestation of Puech’s biography are drawn from his letters and papers, hitherto unseen. The correspondence curated brings a new understanding to the multi-faceted nature of Puech’s activism and rate of progress in the publication of his findings on his subject, Flora Tristan.
“A stimulating and beautifully executed book, bringing to life individual trajectories, periods and milieus in a fascinating way.” Dr Constance Bantman, University of Surrey
Emerita Professor of French Studies at Newcastle University, Trustee and former President of the Society for the Study of French History, and Honorary Vice-President of the Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France.