September 24, 2007

Penn State Professor Sylvia Neely Will Lecture on Lafayette and the French Monarchy Nov. 7

Talk is part of the Marquis’ 250th anniversary celebration

In celebration of the 250th anniversary of the Marquis de Lafayette’s birth, Sylvia Neely, associate professor of history at Penn State University, will present a lecture entitled, “Lafayette and the Fall of the French Monarchy,” 4:10 p.m. Nov. 7 in the Gendebien Room of Skillman Library.

The College’s yearlong celebration during 2007-08 is in recognition of the life and legacy of the man for whom it is named. Major events include the Lives of Liberty lecture series; a historical exhibit at the Williams Center for the Arts, entitled A Son and his Adoptive Father: The Marquis de Lafayette and George Washington; and a birthday party, which was Sept. 6.

  • A web site dedicated to the celebration and to the Marquis’ unique connection to the College provides information and updates.

The lecture will explore how the Marquis’ attempt to transform the French monarchy into a constitutional system inspired by the example of the United States was frustrated by numerous people and events.

Neely’s research focuses on the Marquis de Lafayette and European history during the revolutionary period. She is the author of Lafayette and the Liberal Ideal, 1814-1824: Politics and Conspiracy in an Age of Reaction and numerous articles on Lafayette and the French Revolution.

She believes much can be learned by comparing political, intellectual, and cultural developments across national boundaries, especially in the early 19th century when national identities were forming. A continuing focus of her research is Lafayette’s career during the French Revolution. She is currently completing the book, A Concise History of the French Revolution, which is being published by Rowman and Littlefield in January 2008.

Neely earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in history from University of Notre Dame, M.A. in French from New York University, and B.A. in French from Duke University.

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