The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia

The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia by Mary M Talbot and Bryan Talbot.

Originally published: 2016

Author(s): Mary M Talbot and Bryan Talbotimg_0609

Genres: Non-Fiction, Feminist literature

Goodreads Rating: 4 stars

My Rating:3 stars



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’. A utopian dreamer, notorious anarchist, teacher, orator and poet, she was decades ahead of her time. Always a radical, she fought on the barricades defending the short-lived Paris Commune of 1871 against the reactionary regime that massacred thousands of French citizens after the Commune’s defeat. Deported to a penal colony on the other side of the Earth, she took up the cause of the indigenous population against French colonial oppression.



So as the title so subtly suggests, this is my first ever experience reading a Graphic Novel, and it was so fascinating to experience reading in a different format!

The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia was sent to be by penguin platform, and so, if Im being perfectly honest it is not something I would have picked up for my self whilst book shopping. However, I am so glad that I decided to take the time to read this novel. I love learning about bits of history the world has seem to forget or to push aside, animg_0612d this story of Louise Michel is definitely one of the hidden gems, especially in terms of feminist literature.

Louis Michel is an inspiring woman, with the strength and courage that people during the 1800’s severely lacked and even today, the female population struggles with it. As this is a
non-spoiler review I am not going to go into the particulars of the story but its basically the true story of a kick-ass female character, fighting for what she believes in.

In terms of the art work, I ADORED it! The art style is so simple and modest yet it fits the telling of this historical setting so perfectly. The majority is set in black and white with the occasional use of red to highlight focal points in each image. The images pull you into the story even further and believe me when its finished you wont even have realized you were reading at all.

So in a small summary, this is a great Graphic Novel, with an interesting concept and beautiful, beautiful art work. I Highly recommend.


Below are some links of you are interested in this Graphic Novel and links to anyone mentioned!

Happy reading Guys! and if your nervous about Graphic Novels just give it a shot!

And if you have any recommendations feel free to leave a comment!

Lish x

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2 thoughts on “The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia

  1. When I was growing up my brother had a book about the French penal colony in Guyana. I remember being flabbergasted at how truly impossible it would have been to escape. Bonkers. The main graphic novel I read was Persepolis and another one about a boy with severe illnesses whose parents try weird alternative therapies to cure him. There was briefly an ace graphic novel shop in Huddersfield England in a little arcade. Good review. I will keep reading. My own blog is anthropological musings.

    Liked by 1 person

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