Dr. Jill Walshaw

Dr. Jill Walshaw
Associate Professor and Honours Adviser

On leave

Office: Cle B224

BA (Calgary), MA (Toulouse II Le-Mirail), PhD (York-UK)

Area of expertise

Early Modern European History, French History, Political Culture, Crime and Counterfeiting


I work in the area of early modern (17th and 18th century) France, up to and including the French Revolution (1789-1799). I’m fascinated by the way ordinary people came into conflict with state prerogatives. For example, in my first book, A Show of Hands for the Republic, I traced rural public opinion from the mid-18th century through the French Revolution, and explored when and why the expression of political thought was construed as verbal sedition by the authorities. My second book project similarly examines the notion of treason (or lèse-majesté in the Old Regime) by examining the practice and prosecution of counterfeiting money, which – since defendants were accused of having illegally reproduced the king’s image and having at the same time usurped the royal prerogative to mint coins – was classified as a version of an attack on the king himself, warranting severe penalties. In my research I use a wide variety of archival materials, including ministerial and administrative correspondence, contemporary works of jurisprudence, and the papers of local police and municipal governments, but the bulk of my work focuses on criminal court cases. I have visited many of the 90-odd Departmental Archives in France as well as various archives and libraries in Paris. My home base, though, will always be the Midi-Pyrénées region of the south-west, near Toulouse.

Selected publications



Articles and chapters:

  • “Republicans and Royalists: Seeking Authentic Rural Voices in the Sources of the French Revolution”, in Mette Harder and Jennifer Heuer, eds., Life in Revolutionary France (Forthcoming with Bloomsbury Press, 2020).
  • “L’Adaptation du Jacobinisme au monde rural: La politisation populaire dans les villages de la Haute Garonne, 1790-1795,” Annales du Midi, vol. 127, no. 291, juillet-sept 2015, 369-390.
  • “Counterfeiting in Eighteenth-Century France: Political Rhetoric and Social Realities”. Proceedings of the Western Society for French History, vol. 40, 2012. Now online only. Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.0642292.0040.005.
  • “Conspiracy in the Village? French Revolutionary Authorities and the Search for ‘Subverters of Public Opinion’ in the Rural South-West”, in Peter Campbell, Marisa Linton, and Thomas Kaiser, eds., Conspiracy in the French Revolution (Manchester University Press, 2007).
  • “Controlling Public Opinion in the Ancien régime: Did the King Care what the Peasants Thought?”, Proceedings of the Western Society for French History, vol. 33, 2006, pp.194-210.
  • “Of News and Networks: the Communication of Political Information in the Rural South-West during the French Revolution”, French History, vol.15, no.3, September 2001, pp.273-306.
  • “Learning to Love the Republic: Jacobin Propaganda and the Peasantry of the Haute-Garonne”, European Review of History/Revue européenne d’histoire, vol.6, no.2, June 1999, pp.165-179.