Flora Tristan Project

A digital edition on CD-ROM of the correspondence of the nineteenth-century French feminist and socialist Flora Tristan.

Flora Tristan (1803–44) is most remembered for her contribution to feminism and socialism. In her Union Ouvrière she proposed an international workers’ organisation as the way to overcome the appalling working-class conditions, and to free workers from a cycle of poverty and crime. In an unprecedented move for a woman of her standing, she undertook a Tour de France to persuade workers across the country to sign up to her groundbreaking union.tristan_1984

During this voyage Flora maintained a broad range of correspondence to spread her ideas, to organise the distribution of her books and to gain access to people and places for the propagation of her Union Ouvrière. It was this corpus of letters that formed the AHRB-funded project designed with (D)/(X)HTML, Java Script, XML with XSL style sheets and Java Applet (for the search function).

The nature of XML allows implicit references in the text to be at the researcher’s fingertips. During the course of the project images of the documents were obtained in digitised form thereby adding a further dimension and complexity to the transcription of the letters. Advances were made in the design of an electronic publication of the transcribed letters but the addition of the original letters has widened the scope of the project considerably. The principal investigator has since moved to Newcastle University where further research is being conducted into text of the original manuscripts and the design of the electronic edition.

Project Team

  • Prof. Maire Cross (Department of French, University of Sheffield)
  • Michael Pidd (The Digital Humanities Institute)