A Romantic Death in Deal

Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk


On 27 August, 1826, Athanase Jourdan died at Deal on the South Coast of England. Still a young man, Jourdan was an interesting figure. He had corresponded widely in Europe, cultivating links particularly in Germany with members of the German Historical School. In the heated atmosphere of Restoration Paris, he had sought but been denied a chair in the revived Faculty of Law, and had seen himself as denied this due to politics. A lively and obviously charming man, his career was one of frustration. One of the circle around the review La Thémis, he had argued in favour of a more historical approach to study in France. This meant that his death at Deal, after a research visit to England, was constructed as a Romantic death, the death of one who suffered for scholarship, and whose death was somehow the product of the opposition he had met. His obituaries constructed him as a Romantic hero. The paper will explore why this was so.
Period6 Jul 2022
Event titleBritish Legal History Conference: Law and Constitutional Change
Event typeConference
LocationBelfast, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Romanticism
  • France
  • Britain
  • Roman law