Chouans

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Chouans

(sho͞o`ənz, Fr. shwäN) [Norman Fr.,=owls], peasants of W France who rose against the French Revolutionary government in 1793. One of their first leaders was Jean Cottereau, traditionally nicknamed Jean Chouan, marquis de La Rouerie [John the owl, marquess of Mischief], and the Chouans supposedly used the hoot of an owl as a signal. The movement eventually merged with the contemporary rising in the VendéeVendée
, department (1990 pop. 509,356), W France, on the Bay of Biscay, in Poitou. The offshore islands of Noirmoutier and Yeu are included in the department. Largely an agricultural (dairying, cattle raising) and forested region, the Vendée has many beach resorts
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. The Chouans were motivated by their opposition to specific policies of the new republican government that interfered with their way of life, including religious policy and enforcement of the conscription laws. The name Chouannerie continued to be used in reference to guerrilla warfare that lasted until Napoleon. The so-called Petite Chouannerie persisted until 1815, when Napoleon was forced to divert troops from Waterloo to quell it. Honoré de Balzac's novel Les Chouans pictures these people vividly.

Chouans

 

rebels who engaged in counterrevolutionary activity in northwestern France during the French Revolution and under the Directory and the Consulate. The name “Chouan” is often said to derive from chat-huant, or screech owl, the bird whose cry the rebels imitated as a signal.

The first bands of Chouans formed in southern Maine in the summer of 1792. By 1793, the year usually taken as the beginning of the revolt, the Chouan movement had spread throughout northwestern France. Many of the rebels were peasants from economically and politically backward areas who had fallen under the influence of the royalists and counterrevolutionary clergy. Other peasants in the movement wished to avoid the conscription that had been announced in February 1793.

After the Jacobins came to power, rich peasants who had been alienated by government requisitions and by the introduction of the Law of the Maximum joined the Chouans. Ideological leadership of the rebels subsequently passed to the petty nobility and to priests who had refused to take the oath of allegiance.

Republican troops dealt the movement a heavy blow in 1794. Nevertheless, in 1795, G. Cadoudal led more than 10,000 Chouans in support of the Quiberon expedition. The Chouans, who were linked to the royalist emigres in Great Britain, continued the struggle until 1803, when the rebel movement was finally suppressed.

References in periodicals archive ?
We find the earliest fictional incarnation of Balzac's theory of voyance, or second sight, in Victor Morillon, a young orphan presented as the author of Les Chouans (1828) in its Avertissement.
As the main internal author-figure, Bixiou is materially incorporated into the very production of the tale--unlike Victor Morillon, who is given a fictional role external to the story of Les Chouans.
And his narrative project has less to do with providing a distillation of a sweeping historical event (as Les Chouans was meant to do) than with providing the reader with the sense of a particular atmosphere at a particular moment; as readers we are given enough details to identify with the narrator, sated by an elegant Parisian restaurant meal, listening from behind a curtain to intrigue-heavy gossip.
As his themes and methods move away from idealized overviews and toward daily dealings and contemporary experience, Balzac closes a gap that had been established in the Preface to Les Chouans between visionary author and worldly reader.
Opening a second section, entitled 'Lectures et points de vue', Michael Tilby exposes an even more complex genetic mosaic and a second piece of erudite, wide-ranging detective work, involving Maturin, Latouche, and Le Dernier Chouan.
Dismissed until recently as juvenilia, Balzac's early novels and plays had been viewed as failed attempts at literature before, at long last, the great writer finally emerges in the late 1820s, with the publication of Physiologie du marriage and Le Dernier Chouan.
But if this is an exemplary reading of its kind (albeit with incorrect dates assigned to Le Dernier Chouan and the Physiologie du mariage), it disempowers the student by virtue of its isolation from current research.
Tire Farrant's Balzac's shorter fictions (2002), Andrew Oliver's monumental project to publish the entire Comedie in the form in which the works originally appeared, beginning with Le Dernier Chouan (Editions de l'Originale, 2005), and now Isabelle Tournier's hefty 2-volume anthology of Nouvelles et contes in Gallimard's "Quarto" series are all symptomatic of this new, aggressively historicist approach.
La deuxieme section, "Lectures et perspectives," debute par une contribution de Michael Tilby sur l'influence qu'a eu The Milesian Chief, roman de Maturin, sur le Dernier Chouan de Balzac.
Her alleged delight in the romantic interest that formed the basis of the novel that since 1834 had been known as Les Chouans causes her to accept an invitation to Fougeres: 'Elle voulut voir Fougeres ou s'etait denouee l'aventure du marquis de Montauran, et parcourir le theatre de cette guerre pittoresque dont les tragedies [.
34) Notwithstanding the narrator's remark to the reader about the secret that will be revealed at the end of the novel, they are not genuine enigmas, as they are in another novel where the word 'secret' is ubiquitous, Les Chouans, (35) a work which, as has been noted, is explicitly recalled in La Vieille Fille.
The importance fifes Chouans as a reference-point for a reading of Suzanne is noted by Mozet: 'Deja Marie de Verneuil, qui est pour Suzanne une sorte de soeur jumelle, elle aussi originaire d'Alencon, ne pouvait traverser cette ville, dans Les Chouans, sans parler de s'y noyer' (Balzac au pluriel, pp.