Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Durham University
Website URL
French Revolution, Napoleonic Empire, history of childhood, cultural history, children's literature, education
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Antonia Perna a historian of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Empire, with a particular focus on childhood. She is interested in the politicisation of the eighteenth-century model of childhood innocence, in terms of both representations and experiences of children, in France and Italy in this period. More recently, her work concerns the transmission of political culture in this period, and especially how ideas were transferred internationally and packaged for children beyond French borders along with revolutionary and Napoleonic expansion across Europe.

Antonia is an Honorary Fellow of the Department of History at Durham University. She has previously lectured at Durham and held research fellowships at the British School at Rome, the John Rylands Research Institute and the Newberry Library.

Recent Publications

Journal Articles

Perna, A., ‘Les Discours publics du jeune Charles Nodier et de ses pairs bisontins : une étude de l’agentivité enfantine dans la vie civique pendant la Révolution française, 1790–94’, Histoire de l’éducation, in press.

Perna, A., ‘Bara and Viala, or Virtue Rewarded: the memorialization of two child martyrs of the French Revolution’, French History, 35:2 (2021), pp. 192–218. []

Magazine Articles

Perna, A., ‘Hope of the Nation: celebrating schoolboys’ achievements to end the French Revolution’, Symeon, 11 (2021), pp. 30–33. [—Symeon-11-2021.pdf]

Digital publications

Perna, A., ‘Patriotic Giving and Republican Girlhood in Revolutionary France: the public speeches of twelve-year-old Joséphine Fontanier, 1793–94’, H-France Salon (2020), 12:8, #49.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
France; Italy
Expertise by Geography
France, Western Europe
Expertise by Chronology
18th century, 19th century, Modern
Expertise by Topic
Book History, Children & Youth, Pedagogy, Rebellion & Revolution