A New Age of Terror: The Parisian Anarchist Bombers with Dr. Nigel Perrin

A New Age of Terror: The Parisian Anarchist Bombers with Dr. Nigel Perrin


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In the 1890s the streets of Paris became the target of a new breed of violence, as lone anarchist bombers and assassins launched a terrifying wave of attacks against innocent victims. Did this mark the birth of modern terrorism as we know it today?

Belle Époque Paris was a momentous era of great artistic and cultural progress, commercial innovation, and architectural brilliance. Its grand boulevards and avenues, cafés, and department stores were all hallmarks of this new, exciting, prosperous capital, while the Eiffel Tower, created to mark the centenary of the French Revolution of 1789, left visitors awestruck. But there was also another, darker, experience of modern urban life among the poor, the alienated and the dispossessed, a world away from the bright lights of the Champs-Élysées. For them, the time for another revolution was already long overdue, and a few individuals were determined to tear down this modern Babylon at any cost.

During the 1890s, these 'lone wolf' anarchists unleashed a wave of bomb attacks and assassinations across the city, bringing a new, recognizably modern form of terrorism to the very heart of Paris life. This motley assortment of fascinating characters became both reviled and revered, and their terrible deeds fuelled a morbid public fascination exploited by the popular press. Set against the rapidly developing scenery of late nineteenth-century Paris, this seminar will explore the motivations and actions of these anarchists, how they were represented and perceived, and their connection to similar atrocities committed in more recent times. Were they architects of the age of modern terror we know today? Or should this be considered as just another chapter in a long history of violent political action?

Led by an expert on French revolution and resistance history, Nigel Perrin, this interactive seminar will explore the course of anarchist terrorism in fin de siècle Paris. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the political and social background of late nineteenth-century Paris, and its relevance to the present-day terrorism.

Nigel has long been fascinated by the history of France during the Occupation, particularly in relation to the work of British secret services, a subject he began studying in 2003. 'Spirit of Resistance', his biography of secret agent Harry Peulevé, was published in 2008. Having completed his MA in Modern History at the University of Kent in Paris in 2015, he has now begun a doctorate on a spatial history of Paris under Occupation.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
67%
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33%
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M
M.B.
A New Age of Terror: The Parisian Anarchist Bombers
K
K.S.
Interesting talk on relevant era
W
W.H.
Terrorists Orgins

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
67%
(2)
33%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
M
M.B.
A New Age of Terror: The Parisian Anarchist Bombers
K
K.S.
Interesting talk on relevant era
W
W.H.
Terrorists Orgins