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

Front Cover
Basic Books, May 12, 2009 - History - 320 pages
8 Reviews
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.”
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
3
4 stars
2
3 stars
2
2 stars
0
1 star
1

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - baswood - LibraryThing

“We constantly need to be shaken out of a false sense of familiarity with the past, to be administered doses of cultural shock.” Darnton says that to really appreciate documents and literature from ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kant1066 - LibraryThing

Most history of the early modern period written more than a generation ago was what Robert Darnton identifies as "top-down" history: it is the history of royalty, nobles, and the intellectual elites ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
3
The Great Cat Massacre of
75
The Anatomy
145
The Fabrication
215
Conclusion
257
Index
285
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

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.

Bibliographic information