The bakers of Paris and the bread question, 1700-1775
In preindustrial Europe, dependence on grain shaped every phase of life from economic development to spiritual expression, and the problem of subsistence dominated the everyday order of things in a merciless and unremitting way. Steven Laurence Kaplan's The Bakers of Paris and the Bread Question, 17001775focuses on the production and distribution of France's most important commodity in the sprawling urban center of eighteenth-century Paris where provisioning needs were most acutely felt and most difficult to satisfy. Kaplan shows how the relentless demand for bread constructed the pattern of daily life in Paris as decisively and subtly as elaborate protocol governed the social life at Versailles. Despite the overpowering salience of bread in public and private life, Kaplan's is the first inquiry into the ways bread exercised its vast and significant empire. Bread framed dreams as well as nightmares. It was the staff of life, the medium of communion, a topic of common discourse, and a mark of tradition as well as transcendence. In his exploration of bread's materiality and cultural meaning, Kaplan looks at bread's fashioning of identity and examines the conditions of supply and demand in the marketplace. He also sets forth a complete history of the bakers and their guild, and unmasks the methods used by the authorities in their efforts to regulate trade. Because the bakers and their bread were central to Parisian daily life, Kaplan's study is also a comprehensive meditation on an entire society, its government, and its capacity to endure. Long-awaited by French history scholars, The Bakers of Paris and the Bread Question, 17001775is a landmark in eighteenth-century historiography, a book that deeply contextualizes, and thus enriches our understanding of one of the most important eras in European history.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
The Bakers Outfit a caricature portraying numerous breadmaking operations
Demand and Supply
38 other sections not shown
Other editions - View all
apprentices apprenticeship April arret Arsenal assets August average baker boys bakeroom baking Bast BHVP Bicetre boulangerie bread markets brewer's yeast capital claimed clients commerce commissaire consumers contract corporate customers debt December Delamare deniers Dictionnaire dough economic eighteenth century Encyclopédie méthodique faubourg bakers faubourg Saint-Antoine faubouriens February forains France Francois garcons Gonesse grain and flour guild Herault hundred livres inventory January Jean Joly journeyman baker journeymen July June jures kneading leaven less lieutenant livres median loaf loaves Louis XV Malouin March marriage master baker mastership Memoire merchants milling mollet muids November October oven pain Paris Paris masters Parisian parlement Parmentier percent physiocrats Pierre police sentence political porteuse pounds procurator provisioning royal Saint-Antoine bakers Sartine sell September setiers shops social sort sous stalls statutes subsistence supply tavern thousand livres tion Traité Turgot wheat widow wife workers