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

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9780713917284: The Great Cat Massacre: And Other Episodes in French Cultural History
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In Paris in the late 1730s an extraordinary event occurred. Two printing-shop apprentices rounded up the neighbourhood cats, including their mistress's favourite pet, and battered them to death. They then staged a mock trial and strung them from gallows, to riotous applause and much hilarity - something we find incomprehensible today. Was this a bizarre carnivalesque ritual? An act to ward off witchcraft? Or a workers' revolt against their tyrannical master? To try to enter the minds of ordinary people in 18th-century France and discover "the mental world of the unenlightened during the Enlightenment", Robert Darnton's engrossing, unusual history analyzes a rich variety of material, including the grim, earthy peasant sources of folk tales such as "Little Red Riding Hood"; a curious description of a city; and a policeman's secret dossier. His innovative ethnographic study shows us not just what people thought in the past, but how differently they viewed the world from us.

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"* 'A brilliant work of popular history' - NEWSWEEK * 'Authoritative... elegant and searching' - DAILY TELEGRAPH * 'A rich and splendid book' - Marghanita Laski"

About the Author:

Robert Darnton was born in New York in 1939 and was educated at Harvard (B.Phil., 1962) and Oxford (D.Phil., 1964). After working as a reporter on The New York Times, he returned to Harvard as a junior research fellow before moving to Princeton where he is Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of History. Professor Darnton is the author of many books on French history.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780465012749: The Great Cat Massacre: And Other Episodes in French Cultural History

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ISBN 10:  0465012744 ISBN 13:  9780465012749
Publisher: Basic Books, 2009
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9780465027002: The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History

Basic ..., 1984
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9780394729275: The Great Cat Massacre and Other Essays

Vintag..., 1998
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9780465015566: The Great Cat Massacre: And Other Episodes in French Cultural History (Basic Books classics)

Basic ..., 2000
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9780141390802: The Great Cat Massacre: And Other Episodes in French Cultural History (Penguin history)

Pengui..., 2001
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