The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History

Front Cover
Vintage Books, 1985 - History - 298 pages
55 Reviews
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."

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

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

User Review  - Roxana-Mălina Chirilă - Goodreads

Unconvincing and judgmental. It promises an insight into people's mentalities in 18th c. France, complete with a "Great Cat Massacre", for "the general reading public, as well as for scholars ... Read full review

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

User Review  - Goodreads

owns two copies Read full review



7 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

Understanding Popular Culture
John Fiske
No preview available - 1989
All Book Search results »

About the author (1985)

Robert Darnton is the Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of European History at Princeton University. His many books include The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Bibliographic information