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On Historians 
by J.H. Hexter.
Collins, 310 pp., £6.95, September 1979, 0 00 216623 2
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... To write a review of a book of reviews is no simple task. It is like looking at a mirror in a mirror, as in The Lady from Shanghai, where the revolver shots are lost, finally, in the splintering glass: by dint of looking at themselves in mirrors which reflect other mirrors, neither the gunman nor his human target any longer has much idea of what exactly is going on ...

Fizzles

Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie: Who Controls Henry James?, 4 December 1980

Promenades 
by Richard Cobb.
Oxford, 158 pp., £5.95, June 1980, 0 19 211758 0
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... These Promenades come from a man who, although he is the most hexagonal* historian in the United Kingdom, is still not recognised at his true worth south of the Channel. Right from the start of his itinerary Cobb gaily mixes everything together. He paints well-behaved Norman children such as one can only dream of meeting these days. He rides his biography backwards, he describes his period as a pion (a supervisor) in boarding-schools run either by priests or by anti-clericals, both of whom were great believers in corporal punishment ...

Gaul’s Seven Parts

Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, 3 December 1981

The Youth of Vichy France 
by W.D. Halls.
Oxford, 492 pp., £20, May 1981, 0 19 822577 6
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... Another establishment of the same type became pro-Nazi, but Uriage came under the influence of Emmanuel Mounier, and also under that of the profound and enlightened patriotism of its students. So the school did a carefully controlled skid towards a consistent anti-Germanism, and towards plans for postwar reform. Many of its pupils militated against the ...

Le Roi Giscard

Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, 16 April 1981

La Saga des Giscard 
by Pol Bruno.
Ramsay, 264 pp., May 1980, 2 85956 185 4
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... As far back as we can go (at least according to Pol Bruno), the Giscard family seems to have belonged to the bourgeoisie of the Auvergne. In the maternal line they were businessmen, probably of peasant origin, who later became men of law. Edmond Giscard, father of the French President, ‘came up’ to Paris at the beginning of the 20th century, attended the semi-serious, semi-fashionable lectures at the École des Sciences Politiques, and then married a Mademoiselle Bardoux ...

Democracy and Modernity

Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, 17 February 1983

The Republic in the Village 
by Maurice Agulhon, translated by Janet Lloyd.
Cambridge, 412 pp., £27.50, September 1982, 0 521 23693 2
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... In France, some years ago, a film director was making a film about the Napoleonic Wars. He enlisted more than a hundred extras to represent the French and other armies; the rate of pay for these extras was precisely the same whether they were playing officers or merely soldiers. Filming, which lasted several weeks, took place in open country, a long way from any town or village, so an open-air canteen was set up to provide for this fairly large number of ‘troops ...

Poland and the New France

Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, 4 March 1982

... It is now seven months since the Socialists came to power in France – time enough for us to draw up an end-of-year or new year balance of their achievement. President Mitterrand, like Mendès-France, was long a staunch opponent of the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, but, despite this, he has had no trouble in adapting to the institutions bequeathed to him by de Gaulle ...

Blumsday

Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, 3 November 1983

Léon Blum 
by Jean Lacouture, translated by George Holoch.
Holmes & Meier, 571 pp., $39.50, October 1982, 0 8419 0775 7
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... refer to the destructive nature of the alliance with the Communists at one particular time. And Emmanuel d’Astier de la Vigerie, a pleasant man, a courageous member of the Resistance, the PCF’s dandy (or ‘talon rouge’), was certainly not, as Lacouture would have us believe, one of the two most brilliant intellectuals of his generation. And can one ...

Ladurie’s Talents

G.R. Elton, 1 October 1981

The Mind and Method of the Historian 
by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, translated by Sian Reynolds and Ben Reynolds.
Harvester, 310 pp., £20, July 1981, 0 85527 928 1
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... This is the second collection of essays by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie to appear in English. The first was called The Territory of the Historian and up to a point justified its title by describing a landscape of historical investigation – rural France peopled by a peasantry engaged in earning a living and undergoing birth, disease and death, the whole benignly directed by techniques of quantification ...

Monsieur Montaillou

Rosalind Mitchison, 7 August 1980

The Territory of the Historian 
by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, translated by Sian Ben.
Harvester, 346 pp., £12.50, May 1979, 0 85527 565 0
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Montaillou 
by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, translated by Barbara Bray.
Penguin, 382 pp., £2.50, May 1980, 0 14 005471 5
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Carnival: a People’s Uprising in Romans, 1579-1580 
by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, translated by Mary Feeney.
Scolar, 426 pp., £12.50, May 1980, 0 85967 591 2
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... measurement with insight into social constraints and mental pathways. Since demography is, as Ladurie asserts, one of the basic determinants of economic change, the source of ‘the immense, slow-moving fluctuations’, the enormous cycles of rising and falling pressures on supply, the French breakthrough has been perhaps the most important ...

Male Fantasies

Eugen Weber, 10 January 1983

Love, Death and Money in the Pays d’Oc 
by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, translated by Alan Sheridan.
Scolar, 608 pp., £17.50, October 1982, 0 85967 655 2
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... Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie is probably the cleverest and certainly the most versatile French historian of our day. Beginning with his thèse on the peasants of Languedoc in Early Modern times, he has ranged back to the everyday life of 14th-century heretics and forward to computers studies of 19th-century conscripts ...

Surviving the Reformation

Helen Cooper: Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, 15 October 1998

The Beggar and the Professor: A 16th-Century Family Saga 
by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, translated by Arthur Goldhammer.
Chicago, 407 pp., £11.95, June 1998, 0 226 47324 4
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... began to have a reasonable chance of a decent lifespan. The hazards were daunting, however, and Le Roy Ladurie gives a graphic account of them. Thomas had his first narrow squeak as an infant in the Swiss Valais, when he wandered out from the house of the aunts who were raising him into the snow and almost froze to death; still a small child, he was ...

Venom

Robin Briggs: Saint-Simon and Louis XIV, 26 November 1998

Saint-Simon, ou le système de la cour 
by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie and Jean-François Fitou.
Fayard, 636 pp., frs 160, November 1997, 2 213 59994 7
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... sophistication only thinly masks a simplistic argument, with a good deal of anachronism thrown in. Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie had begun to write about Saint-Simon and the Court when the Annales style of history of which he has been such a distinguished exponent was in full bloom. He has now returned to the theme with a ...

Sweet Homes and Tolerant Houses

Linda Colley, 16 August 1990

A History of Private Life. Vol IV: From the Fires of Revolution to the Great War 
edited by Michelle Perrot, translated by Arthur Goldhammer.
Harvard, 713 pp., £29.95, April 1990, 0 674 39978 1
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Women for Hire: Prostitution and Sexuality in France after 1850 
by Alain Corbin, translated by Alan Sheridan.
Harvard, 478 pp., £31.50, April 1990, 0 674 95543 9
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... credit must go to a succession of scholars, Philippe Ariès, Fernand Braudel, Michel Foucault and Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie among them, who combined intellectual power with formidable originality and entrepreneurial verve. But it is the kind of history writers like these have publicised that has been the main cause of ...

Winners and Wasters

Tom Shippey, 2 April 1987

The French Peasantry 1450-1660 
by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, translated by Alan Sheridan.
Scolar, 447 pp., £42.50, March 1987, 0 85967 685 4
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The Superstitious Mind: French Peasants and the Supernatural in the 19th Century 
by Judith Devlin.
Yale, 316 pp., £20, March 1987, 0 300 03710 4
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... Professor Ladurie declares, near the beginning of this immensely detailed volume: ‘I hope in this study to bring to life the country people themselves.’ Such a reconstruction, he thinks, is bound to be fraught with difficulty, since so little attention has been focused on this stubborn main stratum of the pre-industrial population, the food producers themselves: ‘we know much more about “the way of life” of the Magdalenian hunters of Pincevent (8800 BC) than about the French peasants of 1450 ...

Cite ourselves!

Richard J. Evans: The Annales School, 3 December 2009

The Annales School: An Intellectual History 
by André Burguière, translated by Jane Marie Todd.
Cornell, 309 pp., £24.95, 0 8014 4665 1
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... him as director of Annales and the Sixième Section, and brought in a new generation, among them Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Jacques Le Goff and Georges Duby. The enterprise was based in new premises on the boulevard Raspail, where Braudel founded yet another interdisciplinary research centre, the Maison des Sciences de ...

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