The Shaping of French National Identity casts new light on the intellectual origins of the dominant and 'official' French nineteenth-century national narrative. Focussing on the historical debates taking place throughout the eighteenth century and during the Restoration, Matthew D'Auria evokes a time when the nation's origins were being questioned and discussed and when they acquired the meaning later enshrined in the official rhetoric of the Third Republic. He examines how French writers and scholars reshaped the myths, symbols, and memories of pre-modern communities. Engaging with the myth of 'our ancestors the Gauls' and its ideological triumph over the competing myth of 'our ancestors the Franks', this study explores the ways in which the struggle developed, and the values that the two discourses enshrined, the collective actors they portrayed, and the memories they evoked. D'Auria draws attention to the continuity between ethnic discourses and national narratives and to the competition between various groups in their claims to represent the nation and to define their past as the 'true' history of France.