Le père Duchesne

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Front of number 25 of Le père Duchesne . The title reads in German: "The indignation of Père Duchesne against the indissolubility of marriage and his legislative proposal for divorce."

The magazine "  Le père Duchesne  " (German: "Father Duchesne") was a political magazine published by Jacques-René Hébert between 1790 and 1794 during the French Revolution . It agitated in the spirit of the radicalized wing of the Cordeliers and had a significant influence on political events.

The stove setter père Duchesne was a popular figure in the pre-revolutionary folk theater, who embodied the “little man” with coarse language and rough manners and in whom the urban petty bourgeois and workers recognized themselves. Before and after Hébert's magazine, publications with a similar title appeared.

Previous publications

From February 1789, the figure of père Duchesne appeared in texts called Le plat de Carnaval or Voyage du père Duchesne à Versailles or La colère du père Duchesne à l'aspect des abus . Irregularly published pamphlets also use the figure of the popular stove-setter who doesn't mince his words. From 1790 the postal worker Antoine Lemaire and the Abbé Jean-Charles Jumel published repeatedly under the name of père Duchesne .

Héberts Le père Duchesne

Publication and appearance

Initially, the newspaper made the printer Tremblay included eight pages in miniature ( octave ) and appeared three times a week, making it the L'Ami du peuple of Jean-Paul Marat was comparable. Le pére Duchesne was not dated and only numbered from January 1791. In June 1792 (after number 137) Hébert separated from Tremblay, who then published a few editions of his own père Duchesne .

The vignette of the booklet showed on the first thirteen numbers a man with a pipe in his mouth and a tobacco bag, behind it two Maltese crosses, then as a copy of another Père Duchesne a saber-armored man with a mustache swinging an ax over a priest with the words " memento mori ”(German:“ Be aware of your mortality. ”)

The first page of each issue had a title, often with “  La grande colère du père Duchesne…  ” (German: “The great anger of Père Duchesne…”) or “  La grande Joie du père Duchesne…  ” (German: “The great Joy des Père Duchesne… ”) began, after which the text dealt with a current topic. Hébert's newspaper appeared 385 times. The edition was up to thirty thousand copies.

Content orientation

The first phase of the newspaper showed this to be constitutional. Queen Marie Antoinette and the Abbé Maury , who was loyal to the Pope, were attacked (as was the journalistic rival Marat), but King Louis XVI was not . and Marquis de La Fayette , the chief of the National Guard .

From spring / summer 1791 and then with the introduction of the republic in September 1792 the tone of voice changed. The program of the père Duchesne included the overthrow of all monarchies and the introduction of the world republic, the persecution and extermination of all internal and external enemies of the revolution and the de-Christianization of the state. The newspaper became a real combat paper for the radical Jacobins , an instrument and a driver of the Terreur at the same time.


The newspaper owed its success not least to the coarse, vulgar curses that Hébert used more and more, such as B. «  foutre!  »(German:" Shit, damn! ") Interspersed language. The newspaper was on the street with the sentence “  Il est bougrement en colère aujourd'hui le père Duchesne!  »(German:“ He's got a shitty rage again today, Père Duchesne! ”) And she met the competition of journals of the same name with the same motto:«  Je suis le véritable père Duchesne, foutre!  »(German:“ I'm the real Père Duchesne, damn it! ”). The decidedly revolutionary views of the pére Duchesne came in a hitherto unknown popular idiom, which was intended in particular to reach the sans-culottes as "foot soldiers" of the revolution and the simple soldiers of the new mass army ; a not inconsiderable part of the edition was made available by the government at state expense to the army.

The End

From autumn 1793, Hébert and his newspaper came into increasing conflict with the welfare committee . He was charged and executed on March 24, 1794. The last edition of père Duchesne was published on March 13, 1794.


The magazine was not continued, but for a while it had imitators like Saint-Venant's “  Mustache sans peur  ” (German: “Fearless Mustache ”). Outside Paris, thirty issues of a père Duchesne appeared in Lyons . Some parodies were also produced under this title, such as "  La grande colère du père Duchesne, en voyant tomber sa tête par la fenêtre nationale  " (German: "The great anger of Père Duchesne when he saw his head fall out of the national window." )

In the 19th century the title came back to life, especially during the February Revolution of 1848 and the Paris Commune of 1871. During the latter, the language changed slightly under the title Le père Duchêne .


  • Jacques-René Hébert; Albert Soboul (preface): Le Père Duchesne 1790–1794 by Jacques-René Hébert . Paris 1969.
  • Jacques-René Hébert; Peter Priskil (Ed.): The Pope to the lantern, the priests in the slap! - Writings on Church and Religion - 1790–1794. Ahriman, Freiburg 2003, ISBN 3-89484-600-3 .
  • Paul d'Estrée: Le père Duchesne. Hébert et la commune de Paris (1792–1794) . Ambert, Paris 1908.
  • Gérard Walter: Hébert et le père Duchesne . JB Janin, Paris 1946.

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