The Great Cat Massacre: And Other Episodes in French Cultural History [NOOK Book]

Overview

When the apprentices of a Paris printing shop in the 1730s held a series of mock trials and then hanged all the cats they could lay their hands on, why did they find it so hilariously funny that they choked with laughter when they reenacted it in pantomime some twenty times? Why in the eighteenth-century version of Little Red Riding Hood did the wolf eat the child at the end? What did the anonymous townsman of Montpelier have in mind when he kept an exhaustive dossier on all the activities of his native city? ...
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The Great Cat Massacre: And Other Episodes in French Cultural History

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Overview

When the apprentices of a Paris printing shop in the 1730s held a series of mock trials and then hanged all the cats they could lay their hands on, why did they find it so hilariously funny that they choked with laughter when they reenacted it in pantomime some twenty times? Why in the eighteenth-century version of Little Red Riding Hood did the wolf eat the child at the end? What did the anonymous townsman of Montpelier have in mind when he kept an exhaustive dossier on all the activities of his native city? These are some of the provocative questions Robert Darnton answers in this classic work of European history in what we like to call “The Age of Enlightenment.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465010486
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 5/12/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 349,718
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Robert Darnton is Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Director of the Harvard University Library. A MacArthur Fellow, he is the author of the National Book Critics Circle award-winning The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix
Acknowledgments xiii
Introduction 3
1 Peasants Tell Tales: The Meaning of Mother Goose 9
2 Workers Revolt: The Great Cat Massacre of the Rue Saint-Severin 75
3 A Bourgeois Puts His World in Order: The City as a Text 107
4 A Police Inspector Sorts His Files: The Anatomy of the Republic of Letters 145
5 Philosophers Trim the Tree of Knowledge: The Epistemological Strategy of the Encyclopedie 191
6 Readers Respond to Rousseau: The Fabrication of Romantic Sensitivity 215
Conclusion 257
Notes 265
Index 285
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2010

    Ap World Review i thought it was interesting

    When I first picked up this book I was a little skeptical about reading it. I mean I have two cats at home. So I decided to read this book and it was very interesting. This book goes into the details of many intriguing from the great cat massacre to the true origins of some of the most famous fairy tales. One thing that kept me into this book is the reasoning behind everything. When i first started to read this book I was so interested in way all of these things happened like why would anyone just hang and torture a cat. Robert Darnton does a great job in explaining these weird occurrences.

    I believe that Roberts main goal of writing this book or more of a collections of essays was to inform of all the weird stuff that went on in France. Darnton did an amazing job on getting this across. Sure Ive heard of the witch trials and heard that some fairy tales had other meanings but that is it. Robert did such an amazing job informing on this topic that i was basically brand new too. I honestly do recommend this book to anyone who is curious on how these weird things happen or is just interested in learning new things. I loved this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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