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Cambridge University Press
Expected online publication date:
August 2024
Print publication year:
Online ISBN:
Ideas in Context (154)

Book description

Sophie de Grouchy was a political philosopher and activist practising at the centre of Revolutionary events in France between 1789 and 1815. Despite this, her contributions to the development of political thought are often overlooked, with Grouchy commonly falling under the shadow of her husband Nicolas de Caritat, the marquis de Condorcet. A Republic of Sympathy instead situates Grouchy as a significant figure among her contemporaries, offering the first complete exploration of her shifting thought and practice across this period of societal upheaval. Kathleen McCrudden Illert analyses texts newly attributed to Grouchy and examines her intellectual collaborations, demonstrating how Grouchy continued to develop a unique philosophy which placed sympathy as the glue between the individual and the political community. The study also explores Grouchy's connections with her peers and interlocutors, from Adam Smith and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, to Thomas Paine and Jacques Pierre Brissot. In doing so, it argues powerfully for Grouchy's reintegration into the history of European political thought.


‘Kathleen McCrudden Illert offers a captivating description of Sophie de Grouchy's career and thought. A Republic of Sympathy is an original and important contribution to the intellectual history of the French Revolution, shedding new light on the role played by women in developing new currents of republicanism.’

Antoine Lilti - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales

‘A vital companion to understanding Sophie de Grouchy, A Republic of Sympathy delves deeply into her moral and political philosophy. This comprehensive volume explores every facet of her active years, unravelling the intricate tapestry of her intellectual connections. McCrudden’s meticulous research proves invaluable for those seeking to uncover not only Condorcet’s wife and her remarkable translation of Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments but also to appreciate her as a captivating figure of the French Enlightenment.’

Céline Spector - Sorbonne University

‘There have been many brilliant books in the renowned Ideas in Context series but McCrudden Illert’s A Republic of Sympathy is among the very best. It is original to its core, beautifully written and reveals Sophie Grouchy to have been a singular force from the Old Regime through the French Revolution and into the new century. It is a thoroughly engaging and outstanding work of scholarship.’

Richard Whatmore - University of St Andrews


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