“Prenez Garde Citoyens!”: Policing Popular Rumour
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“‘Prenez garde Citoyens!’: Policing Popular Rumour”, looks at the ways in which rumour was policed by the authorities, particularly via the network of spies in the capital. It also examines the symbiotic relationship between rumour and conspiracy, and how the existence of both shaped the Revolutionary mentalité. The authorities’ ambiguous attitude to rumour—either dismissive or paranoid—influenced the monitoring and shaping of public opinion, and revealed the tensions at the heart of the government’s relationship with its people and with the idea of popular sovereignty in general.