Tivoli – Negotiating Directory Society in the Public Pleasure Garden 1797-1798

  • Ane Cornelia Pade


This paper examines the 1797-1798 public debate surrounding the Tivoli Garden, Paris. The paper explores and analyses how opposing publications in the Parisian press utilised the garden as a locus to negotiate abstract societal changes following the revolution, including women’s access to the public sphere, class identities, and consumer culture. In doing so, this paper shows how the ideas of Rousseau, particularly those presented in La nouvelle Héloïse (1761), influenced public debate over the pleasure garden, and thus adds a new chapter to the study of Rousseau’s influence on the arts. Furthermore, this paper examines the popularity of the Tivoli garden, from the perspective of the Parisian public following the Terror. This paper proposes that the highly theatrical public pleasure garden functioned as a designated testing ground for transgressive social behavior. This allowed for the rules and norms of society to be developed, tested and learned following the French Revolution. By presenting the public pleasure garden as a significant space in the societal development of post-revolutionary society, this paper presents an entirely new perspective on Parisian public pleasure gardens.


Keywords: Tivoli, Rousseau, Directory, Journal des dames et des modes, Theatricality

How to Cite:

Pade, A. C., (2020) “Tivoli – Negotiating Directory Society in the Public Pleasure Garden 1797-1798”, Documenta 38(2), 64–91. doi:

Download PDF
View PDF



Published on
30 Jun 2020