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L’otium des captifs d'honneur britanniques à Verdun sous le Premier Empire, 1803-1814

Duché, Elodie (2016) L’otium des captifs d'honneur britanniques à Verdun sous le Premier Empire, 1803-1814. In: Beaupre, Nicolas and Rance, Karine, (eds.) Arrachés et déplacés. Réfugiés politiques, prisonniers de guerre, déportés (Europe et espace colonial 1789-1918). Presses Universitaires Blaise Pascal (PUBP), pp. 117-144

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Abstract

Horse races, balls, clubs, theatricals, and other jovial hunting parties involving both
French and British participants punctuated the everyday of British civilian and military prisoners
of war detained on parole in Verdun during the Napoleonic conflicts. These amicable amusements
do not fit with our contemporary perception of war captivity, nor do they conform to our understanding
of Franco-British relations during the period. Yet, far from constituting an exception, this
detention offers an insight into ad hoc practices of internment during the period. It also throws
into relief the complex social and cultural dynamics that affected this locale, turned temporarily
into a transnational contact zone. Observing this coerced cohabitation through the lens of the
otium, this chapter intends to reflect on the problematic leisure time offered by imprisonment,
and the tension between agency and idleness that emerged amongst captives exposed to French
influence during a decade of displacement. The chapter concludes on the importance of life-writing
in the continuation of fictitious carceral times, and its impact on the ways historians can aspire
to retrieve the time of detention.

Item Type: Book Section
Status: Published
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D901 Europe (General)
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
D History General and Old World > DC France
School/Department: School of Humanities, Religion & Philosophy
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/1470

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