Set against the background of violence and state repression in a turbulent period of French history, The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia chronicles the incredible and outrageous life of Louise Michel, the revolutionary feminist dubbed “The Red Virgin of Montmartre”. Louise was an extraordinary woman, but little known in the Anglophone world. A utopian dreamer, notorious anarchist, teacher, orator and poet, she was decades ahead of her time. Always a radical, she fights on the barricades defending the short-lived Paris Commune of 1871 against the reactionary regime that massacres thousands of French citizens after the Commune’s defeat. Deported to a penal colony on the other side of the Earth, she takes up the cause of the indigenous population against French colonial oppression.
Celebrating the utopian urge in 19th century literature and politics and the origins of science fiction, The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia is the third collaboration of best-selling academic and graphic novel writer Mary M Talbot with her husband, the graphic novel pioneer Bryan Talbot. Their first book together, Dotter of her Father’s Eyes, won the 2012 Costa Biography Award.
The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia was published on 5th May 2016 by Jonathan Cape. It’s available on the Penguin/Random House website. An American edition, published by Dark Horse on 1st June, is available here.
French and Spanish editions appeared in September 2016. La Librairie Vuibert in France are publishing it as Louise Michel La Vierge Rouge. The Spanish edition from Ediciones La Cúpola is called La Virgen Roja.
Front Row, BBC Radio 4
Free Thinking, BBC Radio 3
Lisa Mackenzie in Times Higher Education
Joe Gordon on FPI blog
Lydia Syson on the The History Girls’ blog
Carl Doherty on Shelf Abuse blog
Teddy Jamieson in the Herald
Tobias Carroll in Paste Magazine
Staff Picks for June 2016 at Broken Frontier
Jenny Sutton in Socialist Review
Owen Hatherley in The Guardian
Dave Crane on Improvised Comics blog
Comixtrip (in French)
Sceneario (in French)
A voir à lire (in French)
Europe 1 (in French)
Fahrenheit 451 (in Spanish)
El Lector Bicefalo (in Spanish)
Ediciones La Cúpola blog (in Spanish)
BoDoï (in French)
Fancueva (in Spanish)
La Historia en los Cómics (in Spanish)
chueca.com (in Spanish)