"Sicard was a French revolutionary priest who enjoyed a meteoric rise from Toulouse and Bordeaux to Paris. Despite the fact that he was a non-juror, he escaped the guillotine. In fact, the revolutionaries acknowledged him as one of the great creators of sign language. In the Terror of 1794, they made him the director of the first school for the deaf, and later he became a member of the first Ecole Normale of 1794, the National Institute, and the Acade;mie Française. He is recognized today as having developed Enlightenment theories of pantomime, "signing, ' (and hopefully a "universal language") that later spread to Russia, Spain, and America. No book-length biography of Sicard has been published in any language since 1873, even though Sicard became an international "celebrity." My story is of interest to French and American language and deaf studies as well as to the history of the French Revolution and Napoleon"--
List of Figures -- Acknowledgments -- Introduction -- 1. The Ascent to Paris -- 2. Passport through the Terror -- 3. A Refractory Priest in the Republic of Professors -- 4. Sicard and Napoleon -- 5. International Signing During the Restoration -- Conclusion -- Appendices : I. Analysis of Abbé Sicard's Library in 1822 (June 26-July 4, 1822) -- II. Johanna von Schopenhauer Visits Sicard's Institution -- Notes -- Bibliography -- Index
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