The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History
When the apprentices of a Paris printing shop in the 1730's 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 18th 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 attempts to answer in this dazzling series of essays that probe the ways of thought in what we like to call "The Age of Enlightenment."
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abbe artisans Bacon bourgeois century character comte de Clermont Contat Conte populaire culture d'Hemery d'Hemery's Delarue and Teneze devil Diderot and d'Alembert Discours preliminaire dossier early modern early modern France eighteenth eighteenth-century Encyclopedie Ernest Labrousse fairy father folklore folktales France French gens girl Grimm hero Histoire Ibid Italian Folktales Jacques Jacques Le Goff Jean Jean-Jacques Jerome journeymen king knowledge Leveille literary literature Little Red Riding lives livres Louis magic March master mistress Mme de Pompadour Monsieur Montpellier Mother Goose Neuchatel nobility novel Old Regime oral tradition Ostervald Paris peasant Perrault Petit philosophes Pierre police popular priest printed printers Ranson to STN reader Red Riding Hood reports republic of letters Rousseau Saint Second Estate seems servant social society story symbols tale type theme Third Estate tion took Viard village Voltaire wanted wife workers writers wrote