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Ideology and ExperienceAnti-Semitism in France at the Time of the Dreyfus Affair$
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Stephen Wilson

Print publication date: 1984

Print ISBN-13: 9780197100523

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9780197100523.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

The Henry Subscription 1898-9

The Henry Subscription 1898-9

(p.125) Chapter IV The Henry Subscription 1898-9
Ideology and Experience

Stephen Wilson

Liverpool University Press

This chapter focuses on the Henry Subscription, which was organized by the antisemitic daily La Libre Parole at the end of 1898 and the start of 1899. The subscription list, which the newspaper published, provides a unique sample of antisemitic and anti-Dreyfusard opinion. The interpretation of this subscription list raises the problem of spontaneity. How far can it be taken as a genuine expression of popular attitudes? How far was it a simple propaganda exercise on the part of La Libre Parole? The state of symbiosis between subscriber and newspaper does not simply call into question the value of the subscription list as an expression of “spontaneous” opinion. It accurately reflects a fundamental characteristic of antisemitism, and of other sets of attitudes, in this period. Antisemitism was becoming more structured, and found its most developed expression in the press and in books, which were the agents of the transformation of scattered popular attitudes into a more coherent body of ideas. The subscription list illustrates a significant stage in this process, and is valuable as such. It should be pointed out, moreover, that a significant gap still remained between antisemitic ideology, as expressed in the press and in books, and the more directly “popular” expression of opinion in the subscription list, for the latter was both less explicitly coherent and its tone was often considerably more extreme than that of La Libre Parole's editorial and news copy.

Keywords:   Henry Subscription, La Libre Parole, subscription list, antisemitic opinion, anti-Dreyfusard opinion, popular attitudes, antisemitism, antisemitic ideology

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