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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There’s not a lot of conclusions to deal with, it’s mostly just Darnton describing wat he read and some pretty cursory observations.

The rating is for the first essay alone. I have become a major history reader since then, and I think this book helped. The French do not have nursery rhymes!

It could no exception. Scolor Press, Aldershot, Darnton succeeds well at making a wonderful book about folklore, “fakelore”, and French history. Palmer, William November As such, the meant to someone in the Sixteenth Century conlict can be seen as a conlict between carried the same meaning to someone liv- the two liminal elements associated with ing in the Eighteenth. Retrieved from ” https: Masascre does not maasacre on one source for its interpretation, or indeed minimum of useful detail for the politi- on one type of source.

I learned three things: These were times in which children this is before the birth of childhood as we know it were subjected to backbreaking dawn-to-dusk labor reminiscent of Rumpelstiltskin ; in which peasants, unable to feed another child, were forced to abandon newborns Hansel and Gretel ; and, in a peculiar demography in which one of every five Norman men re-wed after the death of his first wife, stories of stepmothers abounded Cinderella.

Which is, I believe, the thesis of the book. These exaggerated serve of the increasingly distant bourgeois.

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

Popular Culture in Early Modern Modernism. It’s all down hill for me from that point on. The story went as follows: He doesn’t claim mazsacre be getting to the heart of 18th century French culture, nor completely understanding any one individual. They reworked them in their own manner, using them to piece together a picture of reality and to show what that picture meant for persons at the bottom of the social ladder.


He warns the reader off the idea of thinking you can completely ‘understand’ people, but suggests this as a way of better grasping how people amssacre their world.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. It uses immersion in entirely on textual accounts of the the culture; it dat and observes liv- ing people and communities, interacting in past. Naturally, I Given the peculiarities of the Irish educational system, at the end of 10th grade there was a forced choice between physics and history, so my formal study of history ended when I was In the peasant version of Hansel and Gretel, for example, Hansel tricks the ogre not a witch into slitting the throats of his own children.

The second was the lack of women. A phenom- moeurs dzrnton usages singuliers des compa- enological approach to the matter could gnons imprimeurs,edited by Giles also prove fruitful, as would the use of Barber, dsrnton, It would have had a high their popular festivals in order to increase sexual symbolic dwrnton then as now.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. There is a severe used for these ends, as the over use of one danger of over-analysis and of going too can negate the effect of using the other. At a time when a little over 40 percent of children died before the age of ten, the early modern French peasant had no time for niceties.

The Journal of Modern History, Vol. But it is wonderfully written, sets the context for peasant life beautifully acknowledging the problematic nature of ‘generic peasant’and does some really intriguing stuff in looking at variations in folkloric traditions within France and then between France and England, Italy, and Germany.

Darnton tries to pin down cultural change as the oral tradition segued into literary, and by examining in depth certain events, draws conclusions about life at the bottom of the social rungs of society.

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

The Great Cat Massacre – Wikipedia

Open Preview See a Problem? The Great Cat Massacre was one of the books that helped me overcome my aversion to reading about history I Claudius was another. At any rate, I thought of it on and off but never got around to it, and then a friend gave me a copy when culling their library of extraneous books.


Mssacre printmakers would hire journeymen to come into their shop and learn their craft. Nov 05, Nastya Podhorna rated it it was amazing.

It gives an insight ceived source of their dificulty, i. An extensive description of the town of Montpellier in by an anonymous but solidly bourgeois citizens provides a remarkable glimpse of the power structure, relationships between the different classes and prevailing attitudes. Basic Books, New York, It describes and then challenges accepted wisdom. And, of course, at age 14 it was completely impossible to think of it as anything but useless.

The author examines aspects of culture that are not often covered because they can neither be quantified nor are they important. And also, a brief list of bios of the prominent key people? They found the cats guilty of witchcraft and sentenced them to death by hanging.

One really important point I learned from this author is that the way to understand a foreign culture at any time is to take something that makes no sense to you, either why it was done or why the people of that culture reacted in that way.

It’s a The first chapter was interesting and had me hooked on the idea of the “otherness” of people in the past. This desire to re- There are a number of literary themes turn to a perceived golden age, real or not, common to the period to be found in the was common in all popular unrest in the story.

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

Overall, the flaws are still pretty minor. I heard about this book a long time ago, probably in the context of a university history subject that was attempting to give students an overview of different ways of approaching the writing of history; it was preparatory to undertaking Honours.