Jean-Paul Marat's newspaper L’Ami du peuple comprises nearly 700 issues published in octavo between September 1789 and September 1792. Most issues were eight pages long, though some issues stretched to twelve or sixteen pages. Pagination of the earlier volumes was somewhat irregularly organized, while every issue after number 70 is individually paginated. The collection contains more than 1.5 million words and nearly 50,000 unique word forms.
The newspaper is a notable example of French Revolutionary populism, and Marat frequently ran into trouble with the authorities in the earlier days of the newspaper’s publication for his criticism of those in power. Printing of the journal was suspended on numerous occasions, often due to the fact that Marat had gone into hiding. The newspaper was named Le publiciste parisien for its first five issues, but Marat changed the name to L’Ami du peuple in the sixth issue. This name remained with the newspaper until the end of its print run, when Marat was elected to the National Convention. Marat would go on to publish other newspapers, under different titles, until his death at the hands of Charlotte Corday on July 13, 1793.
This digitization project has been carried out in conjunction with the New York Public Library, which provided the archival-quality page images of its seven-volume collection of L'Ami du peuple, and the Stanford University Library, which provided funds for data entry. We are aware of a number of apparent gaps and duplications in the numerical sequence of issues. These numbering problems have been well documented in other sources (notably Eugène Hatin's 1866 Bibliographie historique et critique de la presse périodique française, available from Google Books, as well as Jacques de Cock and Charlotte Goëtz’s 1989 edition of Marat’s Oeuvres politiques) and do not generally indicate issues of the newspaper that are actually missing from this collection. The only issue of L’Ami du peuple that would in fact seem to be missing from the NYPL’s bound collection is issue 399, which is replaced by a second copy of issue 299. De Cock and Goëtz include issues 40, 41, 43-44, and 46 in their edition of L'Ami du peuple, but these only ever existed in manuscript and are thus absent from the NYPL edition. The NYPL’s edition of the text is also missing four pages from issue 407.
These digital texts have not been checked systematically for accuracy. Additionally, some unrecognizable characters have not been keyed by our data entry contractor and have instead been identified in the text with a TEI “gap” tag. These errors will be corrected, where possible, in the future as a part of ARTFL’s ongoing database maintenance. In order to access the page images and verify the contents of the electronic edition, please click on the hyperlinked page numbers that appear throughout the text. (5/2012)
The ARTFL Project Department of Romance Languages and Literatures Division of the Humanities University of Chicago 1115 East 58th Street Chicago, IL 60637 tel: 773-702-8488 | email: artfl[at]artfl[dot]uchicago[dot]edu