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Michigan State University

Researching the French Revolution and Napoleonic Era in the M.S.U. Libraries: Historical Dictionaries and Subject Encyclopedias

This is a guide to researching the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era.

Historical Dictionaries and Subject Encyclopedias

Europe 1780-1914: Encyclopedia of the Age of Industry and Empire
This is an online encyclopedia only. A five-volume survey of European history from the onset of the French Revolution to the outbreak of World War. Alphabetically arranged entries cover the period's most significant personalities and meaningful developments in the arts, religion, politics, exploration, and warfare.

Oxford Handbook of the French Revolution Main DC 148 .O94 2015  Not a dictionary, per se.  Edited by David Andress. Contains articles by individual scholars on the Origins of the Revolution, its Coming, the Revolution and Constitution, Counter-Revolution and Collapse, the New Republic, and After Thermidor.  Each article has footnotes and selected bibliography.  See the bottom of this list for several more quite new books.

Encyclopedia of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, a Political, Social, and Military History
Reference DC 220 .E53 2006 v. 1-3
v. 1 begins with a series of a dozen textual essays by scholars, each several pages in length. Entries on topics, persons, places, events conclude with further reading references. Back of v. 3 has copies of a dozen primary source documents and a lengthy bibliography, not, unfortunately very usefully arranged.

Nations and Nationalism: a Global Historical Overview

Covers all aspects of nationalism, in all parts of the world, from the time of the French Revolution to the present day.

Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment
Reference B 802 .E53 2003 v. 1-4
Covering the “long” Enlightenment, from the rise of Descartes' disciples in 1670 to the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in 1815, these 700 articles by leading scholars range from discussions of mercantilism and democracy to the battlefield to the dissemination of ideas in salons and coffeehouses. Breaking conventional geographical boundaries, coverage includes not only Western Europe but also North America, Brazil, and Iberian, Russian, Jewish, and Eastern European cultures.

Europe 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World
Reference D 209 .E97 2004 v. 1-6
Should studying the years leading up to the French Revolution be significant for your topic. This detailed set explores European history from 1450-1789, from the print revolution to the French Revolution. The set's 1,082 articles, written by eminent scholars, cover major topics in art, government and education as well as providing biographical entries on key figures of the period. In addition, the set covers topics specific to the era, such as apocalypticism, guilds, food riots, royal mistresses and lovers, the Spanish inquisition, Utopia and others. Each volume includes an eight-page color insert. Features include approximately 575 black-and-white photographs, 60 maps, a year-by-year chronology, a topical outline, and a comprehensive index.

Great Events from History, the 18th Century, 1701-1800
Main D 286 .G74 2006 v. 1-2
You can be sure the French Revolution contained significant events. Several pages describe what happened and a nice bibliography on the topic follows.

Great Events from History, the 19th Century, 1801-1900
Main D 358 .G74 2007 v. 1-4
Similar to the above, for the 19th century.

Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution
Main DC 148 .D5313 1989
Sections on events, actors (people and groups involved), institutions (assemblies, committees, clubs, etc.), ideas, historians and commentators (those who have written and interpreted the Revolution). Further reading references and related topics under each article.

Historical Dictionary of the French Revolution, 1789-1799
Main DC 147 .H36 2015

Historical Dictionary of the Napoleonic Era
Main DC 147 .N34 2002

Historical Dictionary of the French Revolution, 1789-1799
Reference DC 147 . H57 1984 v. 1-2
Topics, persons, cross references, bibliographic references at ends of the articles.

Historical Dictionary of Napoleonic France, 1799-1815  Main DC 201 .H673 1985

International Encyclopedia of Military History   Main D 25 .A2 I58 2006 v. 1-2

Both multicultural and international in perspective, this A-Z reference covers all aspects of the history of war--on land, sea, and in the air--from the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C. to the present day. Besides a full coverage of battles, campaigns, wars, weapons and equipment, military organization, defense systems, and military forces, the entries, ranging from 50 to 4000 words, include social history on the military and society around the world, concepts and terms, maps and other illustrations, and biographies, making this reference the most comprehensive in its field. Serving both as a standard work of reference on military history and as a study of the evolution of military methods, the set will appeal to both professional historians and amateur military historians as well as enthusiasts of military affairs and the ever-growing constituency of war gamers.

Women and War, a Historical Encyclopedia from Antiquity to the Present  Main  U 24 .W69 2006 v. 1-2

This authoritative encyclopedia presents the work of leading scholars from all over the world to give the first detailed coverage of the role of women in wars throughout history. Histories of war are typically histories of men: great leaders and heroic fighters. Yet the roles of women often receive only limited coverage. Except for such notables as Joan of Arc, traditional histories give short shrift to women as leaders and fighters. Similarly, the direct victimization—particularly sexual abuse as a weapon of terror and domination—and cultural dislocations women suffer in war float as background, without detailed coverage. This work represents a first, devoted in its entirety to thorough examination of all aspects of women in war. For the first time, readers have a single source for information on the scope of women's role in war, and war's effects on them.

Napoleonic Wars a Very Short Introduction Main DC 226.3 .R377 2013

Daily Life in the French Revolution Main DC 148 .A656 2007

Not a dictionary, per se, but useful for information on life at the time.

Companion to the French Revolution  2013.  Ed. Peter McPhee.  Especially on social history.  Less attention to Napoleon, nobility, emigration, counter-revolution, cultural history.  Gives space to religious questions, the Terror, and gender

Experiencing the French Revolution Main PQ 2105 .A2 S8 v.2013:05.  Not a dictionary, per se.  Eclectic assemblage of research essays with 'experience' as only the loosest of linking themes.  Edited by David Andress. 

Routledge Companion to the French Revolution in World History Main DC 148 .R68 2016.  Not a dictionary, per se.  Ed. Alan Forrest and Matthias Middell.  A lot on external repercussions, whether in territories adjoining France, or across the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, the English Channel, or the Irish sea. Diplomacy.  High politics.  Napoleon.

Napoleon Bonaparte a Reference Guide to His Life and Works  Main DC 226.3 .M44 2020
Tells Napoleon's story "in what is effectively a deconstructed biography." Contains chronology of important events in his life, with "a sprinkling of contextualizing events."  Main part of the work is a dictionary of major events, places, and people in his life.  No one entry for the man himself.  Appendices: his marshals and their titles, key battles, selected treaties, conventions, and decrees of the Napoleonic era, and Napoleon's immediate family.  15 page bibliography.  Author is an American  professor and Napoleon specialist.

Napoleon Dictionnaire Historique Main DC 203 .L466 2020

Topical and biographical entries, with further reading references, from one to several pages in length.  Some maps.  Both broad topic and specific entry indexes.

Columbia History of Twentieth-Century French Thought  Reference DC 33.7 .C575 2006

See pp. 320-323 article "Rereading the French Revolution."  Also, Part III has articles on individual French intellectuals. 


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