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Philippe Ariès, 16 October 1980

Bastardy and its Comparative History 
edited by Peter Laslett, Karla Oosterveen and Richard Smith.
Arnold, 431 pp., £24, May 1980, 0 7131 6229 5
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... This is not an easy book to read, even though it is written clearly and at times elegantly; its authors have swathed and encumbered their interpretations in so many reservations and second thoughts that it takes some attentive detective-work to discover their meaning. One is reminded of the famous lines in which Horace celebrated the daring of the first navigator: Illi robur et aes triplex Circa pectus erat, qui fragilem truci Commisit pelago ratum Primus ...


Nicholas Penny, 9 October 1986

Pictures and Punishment: Art and Criminal Prosecution during the Florentine Renaissance 
by Samuel Edgerton.
Cornell, 243 pp., $39.50, March 1985, 0 8014 1705 8
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Images of Man and Death 
by Philippe Ariès, translated by Janet Lloyd.
Harvard, 271 pp., £19.95, October 1985, 0 674 44410 8
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Fingerprints of the Artists: European Terra-Cotta Sculpture from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections 
by Charles Avery and Alastair Laing.
Harvard, 298 pp., £127.50, September 1981, 0 674 30203 6
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... specific types of painting in a few centres in Italy. Images of Man and Death, by the late Philippe Ariès, is a book of far greater scope, a sort of visual supplement to his celebrated L’Homme devant la Mort, surveying the whole of Western civilisation (which, viewed in detail, turns out, more often than not, to be French civilisation). ...

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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... popularity over the same period of time. Some of the 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 ...

Rolling Stone

Peter Burke, 20 August 1981

The Past and the Present 
by Lawrence Stone.
Routledge, 274 pp., £8.75, June 1981, 0 7100 0628 4
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... quantitative methods in articles of the 1950s, and he still believes in them sufficiently to scold Philippe Ariès because, in his recent book on the history of attitudes to death, ‘there is not a statistic in the whole 642 pages.’ Stone has always believed in combining his statistics with impressions derived from literary – and visual ...

Bumper Book of Death

Frank Kermode, 1 October 1981

The Hour of Our Death 
by Philippe Ariès, translated by Helen Weaver.
Allen Lane, 651 pp., £14.95, July 1981, 0 7139 1207 3
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... part of the argument that such attitudes must be related to our feelings about many other matters. Ariès is a researcher of genius, and I shall be saying later that his gifts are sometimes the cause of certain faults or excesses. As in Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy, of which this work is a modern avatar, there is an armature of theory which is almost lost ...

Unhappy Mothers

Judy Dunn, 17 July 1980

edited by John Cobb.
Hutchinson, 255 pp., £5.95, May 1980, 9780091408305
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by Martin Richards.
Harper and Row, £4.95, March 1980, 9780063181243
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by Sheldon White and Barbara Notkin White.
Harper and Row, £4.95, March 1980, 0 06 318122 3
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... the avid search for them readily leads, not to their discovery, but rather to their invention. Philippe Aries, for example, in Centuries of Childhood, cites Montaigne as evidence for the change in European conceptions of childhood before and after the 17th century. But the terms of Aries’s quotations make it clear that Montaigne himself was well ...

When in Bed

David Blackbourn, 19 October 1995

Reflections on a Life 
by Norbert Elias.
Polity, 166 pp., £35, October 1994, 0 7456 1383 7
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The Civilising Process 
by Norbert Elias.
Blackwell, 558 pp., £50, March 1994, 0 631 19222 0
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... directions in subsequent historical research. Elias wrote about the invention of childhood before Philippe Ariès, about cat-massacres before Robert Darnton. Countless virgin territories that he mapped out have since been thickly settled. His analysis of court life and the ‘royal mechanism’, further elaborated in a later book on The Court ...

Why Darcy would not have married Elizabeth Bennet

Linda Colley: Women in Georgian England, 3 September 1998

The Gentleman’s Daughter: Women’s Lives in Victorian England 
by Amanda Vickery.
Yale, 436 pp., £19.95, May 1998, 0 300 07531 6
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... scholarly generalisations. Among her more predictable targets are older historians such as Philippe Ariès and Lawrence Stone, who claimed for the 18th century the emergence of a more companionate style of marriage among the prosperous, and a kinder, gentler way of bringing up and perceiving children. She shows, as others have done, that there was ...

Axeman as Ballroom Dancer

David Blackbourn, 17 July 1997

Rituals of Retribution: Capital Punishment in Germany 1600-1987 
by Richard J. Evans.
Oxford, 1014 pp., £55, March 1996, 0 19 821968 7
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... to the ‘rituals’ of his title, and engages most fruitfully with the theoretical big guns: Philippe Ariès on changing attitudes towards death, Norbert Elias on the ‘civilising process’, and Foucault on the emergence of the ‘carceral society’. In the last two thirds of the book, the balance tilts towards a more purely political account, in ...

For the duration

John McManners, 16 June 1983

The Oxford Book of Death 
edited by D.J. Enright.
Oxford, 351 pp., £9.50, April 1983, 0 19 214129 5
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Idéologies et Mentalités 
by Michel Vovelle.
Maspéro, 264 pp., £7.15, May 1982, 2 7071 1289 5
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... To follow up another personal comparison, there are two other historians in this volume. Philippe Ariès rates four mentions, justly, for he was the inventor of the theme of death in modern historiography. (None of the four extracts actually reflects Ariès’s contribution to historical ...

Denying Dolores

Michael Mason, 11 October 1990

Children’s Sexual Encounters with Adults 
by C.K. Li, D.J. West and T.P. Woodhouse.
Duckworth, 343 pp., £39.95, July 1990, 0 7156 2290 0
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Child Pornography: An Investigation 
by Tim Tate.
Methuen, 319 pp., £14.99, July 1990, 0 413 61540 5
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... each perceived the other as atrociously misguided. Dr Li makes some reference to the theories of Philippe Ariès, who has argued that the notion of childhood, and a high valuation of this period of life, are fairly recent historical developments. Ariès’s views have been substantially discredited by later students ...

Boys will be soldiers

Brian Harrison, 20 October 1983

Sure and Stedfast: A History of the Boys’ Brigade, 1883-1984 
edited by John Springhall.
Collins, 304 pp., £10, June 1983, 0 00 434280 1
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... history, and needed to be included on the social historian’s agenda. A pioneering text came from Philippe Ariès: his Centuries of Childhood (1960) is bold in its range, rich in its insights, but frequently generalises well beyond the evidence available at the time of writing. J.R. Gillis’s Youth and History(1974) is another, though less successful ...

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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... The Royal Touch; French Rural Society; Feudal Society; F. Braudel: The Mediterranean; L. Febvre: Philippe II and the Franche-Comté’. (Clearly, Febvre had a higher opinion of his own work than he did of his colleagues’.) Just as important as the self-conscious creation of a canon, however, was the conquest of the institutions. In 1947, Febvre became ...

History is always to hand

Douglas Johnson, 8 December 1988

Notre Siècle: 1918-1988 
by René Rémond.
Fayard, 1012 pp., frs 190, February 1988, 2 213 02039 6
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Histoire de la Vie Privée: De la Première Guerre Mondiale à nos Jours 
edited by Philippe Ariès and Georges Duby.
Seuil, 634 pp., frs 375, May 1988, 2 02 008987 4
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France since the Popular Front: Government and People 1936-1986 
by Maurice Larkin.
Oxford, 435 pp., £30, July 1988, 0 19 873034 9
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France Today 
by John Ardagh.
Penguin, 647 pp., £6.95, June 1988, 0 14 010098 9
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... In his novels, the late Gwyn Thomas used to refer to those who frequented the pubs and cafés of small Welsh towns as ‘the voters’. It would certainly be the way to describe the adult population of France who, last spring, voted twice to elect a President (on 24 April and 8 May) and twice to elect a Parliament (on 5 and 12 June). In September they voted in local elections, and in November the referendum on the future of New Caledonia took place ...

Living and Dying in Ireland

Sean O’Faolain, 6 August 1981

... for those changing fashions in dying and those varying attitudes to living which historians like Philippe Ariès have been exploring so imaginatively and suggestively in recent years.2 Speaking of the old Irish jurists, Binchy says: ‘Naturally they were unaware that what they were describing was the vestigial remnant of an extremely ancient usage ...

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