The 1890s were a transitional period for French feminism. 1 The dominant figures from the founding of the women's movement in the 1870s and 1880s-Léon Richer ( 1824-1911), Maria Deraismes ( 1828-94), and Hubertine Auclert ( 1848-1914)—were no longer active. Richer retired in 1891 and turned his Ligue française pour les droits des femmes over to a younger generation of feminists such as Marie Bonnevial, who is represented in the next chapter. Auclert (see parts 6 and 7) married in 1888 and followed her husband to Algeria. Deraismes died in 1894, leaving her well-financed organization, Amélioration, in the hands of her more moderate sister, Anna Feresse‐ Deraismes.
Clotilde Dissard was one of the most prominent new leaders of French feminism during the 1890s. 2 Dissard considered herself a pioneering sociologist, but she is best remembered for her feminist writings. In 1895 she founded a monthly journal, La Revue féministe ( The Feminist Review), which she edited for nearly three years. This effort led Dissard to participate in the LFDF congress of 1896 and to publish a book based on that experience, Opinions féministes à propos du congrès féministe de 1896.3 She closed her review in the following year, but the appearance of La Fronde gave her a continuing feminist forum that she used for several years. Dissard had multiple interests, however, and later devoted her energy to the Russian immigrant community in France.
Clotilde Dissard recognized that there were many competing forms of feminism in belle époque France. She opposed most militant feminism as hopelessly quixotic and advocated, in its place, a period of reflection on fem