The great cat massacre and other episodes in French cultural history. Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. France—Civilization—17th—18th. collection which Darnton has so successfully mined over the years. Some of them incidentally, is the chapter dealing with the great cat massacre, which as. In The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History,. Robert Darnton again displays the estimable gifts that have earned him a place.

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Back then there were no societies for the protection of animals.

Dec 24, Sherwood Smith added it Shelves: Six ‘episodes’ are discussed, all from pre-revolutionary France aka ‘Ancien Regime’ in roughly chronological order. One of them involves a girl going to have sex with two men so she msasacre make her mind up which one she wants. The appli- over their livelihoods.

Their lives were nasty, brutish and short. What did the masscare townsman of Montpelier have in mind when he kept an exhaustive dossier on all the activities of his native city?

It comprises six essays, each of which considers a very specific aspect of life in France during the first half of the 18th century, using a particular incident or set of documents as a point of departure. Darnton describes how, as the apprentices suffered hard conditions, they came to resent the favours which their masters gave to their catsand contrived to deal with the nuisance cats by slaughtering them so as to distress their masters.

The Great Cat Massacre: And Other Episodes in French Cultural History

Once familiar with these details, the innocence we thought we knew is quickly upset. One hero gets “a cow and some chickens”; another, an armoire full of linens. I was happy to be rid of it at the time – my brain did fine with analytical stuff like science and languages, but history was just too unruly to get a handle on and it always brought down my grade average. The author examines aspects of culture that are not often covered because they can neither be quantified nor are they important.

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May 17, Victoria rated maassacre really liked it Shelves: I thought I would get to the end of the chapter feeling guilty about not wanting to read Heloise but Darnton reassures me that it’s almost unreadable to a modern audience. It showed that history books didn’t have to be dull and it re-awakened a curiosity I thought had been stifled.

The French do not have nursery rhymes! Jul 05, David rated it really liked it. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

I thought it was enjoyable and interesting but then I love this sort of investigative history. If you love cats, don’t read book’s eponymous chapter, just skip right over it and read the rest.

But their wishes usually remained fixed on common objects in the everyday world. The book contains five chapters loosely interwoven around an attempt to carve out this special niche in historiography.

The Great Cat Massacre: And Other Episodes in French Cultural History by Robert Darnton

The book has three other chapters: To see what your friends thought of this book, darjton sign up. Read this for an undergrad history course. Don’t really understand what there is not to “get” about the joke of the cat massacre, though. Superstructural changes similar catt that darnnton Benjamin Franklin et al.


Is text, or even a group of texts and then anthropology even suitable to use in order using them to describe darntob wider society in to understand the popular culture of, say, this manner can lead to a distorted picture.

Though I’m mentally giving it 3. After 25 years, would it be as good as I remembered, or would it crumble to little more than that inspired title which is pure genius, by any standards? Want to Read Currently Reading Read. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Do social conditions determine popular beliefs? The eponymous cat massacre is a kind of violent charivari that tells of the living conditions of urban artisans in the print trade and surely provided a basis for Parrot in the Peter Carey novel.

He shows that we can learn a lot from these artifacts.

The Great Cat Massacre – Wikipedia

I learned three things: Skip to main content. He doesn’t claim to be getting to the heart of 18th century French culture, nor completely understanding any one individual.

One of the great examples of the past being a foreign country where they do things differently over there.

Last modified: April 19, 2020