"Sad era, villainous affair"

The Dreyfus Affair in the notebooks of Henri Vever

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article analyzes representations of the Dreyfus Affair in the private diaries written between 1898 and 1901 by Henri Vever, a prominent Art Nouveau jeweler, art collector, and small-town mayor. The important place accorded the Affair in these "ordinary writings" by an individual with no direct engagement in it offers an opportunity to assess how historical events become enmeshed with private life, mentalités, and sociability. Further, Vever's notebooks reveal position taking during the Affair as a complex phenomenon, in Vever's case infl uenced by circumstances encompassing his identity as both a native of Lorraine, marked by France's defeat in 1870, and a Republican notable and Parisian businessman. While Vever's notebooks corroborate some standard themes of Dreyfus Affair historiography, including the importance of the press and the eclipsing of the Affair by the 1900 World's Fair, they also nuance the idea of a rigid ideological division between Dreyfusards and anti-Dreyfusards.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-61
Number of pages21
JournalHistorical Reflections
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 5 2012

Fingerprint

Dreyfus Affair
Notebook
World's Fairs
Art Collector
Sociability
Encompassing
Jeweller
Diary
France
Private Life
Republican
Defeat
Art Nouveau
Businessmen
Historiography

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History

Cite this

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title = "{"}Sad era, villainous affair{"}: The Dreyfus Affair in the notebooks of Henri Vever",
abstract = "This article analyzes representations of the Dreyfus Affair in the private diaries written between 1898 and 1901 by Henri Vever, a prominent Art Nouveau jeweler, art collector, and small-town mayor. The important place accorded the Affair in these {"}ordinary writings{"} by an individual with no direct engagement in it offers an opportunity to assess how historical events become enmeshed with private life, mentalit{\'e}s, and sociability. Further, Vever's notebooks reveal position taking during the Affair as a complex phenomenon, in Vever's case infl uenced by circumstances encompassing his identity as both a native of Lorraine, marked by France's defeat in 1870, and a Republican notable and Parisian businessman. While Vever's notebooks corroborate some standard themes of Dreyfus Affair historiography, including the importance of the press and the eclipsing of the Affair by the 1900 World's Fair, they also nuance the idea of a rigid ideological division between Dreyfusards and anti-Dreyfusards.",
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"Sad era, villainous affair" : The Dreyfus Affair in the notebooks of Henri Vever. / Silverman, Willa Zahava.

In: Historical Reflections, Vol. 38, No. 3, 05.11.2012, p. 41-61.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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