A History of Private Life, Vol. 4: From the Fires of Revolution to the Great War

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9780674400030: A History of Private Life, Vol. 4: From the Fires of Revolution to the Great War

The nineteenth century was the golden age of private life, a time when the tentative self-consciousness of the Renaissance and earlier eras took recognizable form, and the supreme individual, with a political, scientific, and above all existential value, emerged. Volume IV of this award-winning series chronicles this development from the tumult of the French Revolution to the outbreak of World War I--a century and a quarter of rapid, ungovernable change culminating in a conflict that, at a stroke, altered life in the Western world.

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About the Author:

Michelle Perrot is Professor of Contemporary History at the Université de Paris VII.

Georges Duby, a member of the Académie Française, is Professor of Medieval History at the Collège de France.

Review:

The fourth volume of this brilliant series arrives with the poignancy of a letter that through some fluke of the postal system has been delayed 70 or 100 years and is read by descendants of the original addressee... A whole century’s cries and murmurs are here, reminding us that their echoes are with us still. (Joseph Coates Chicago Tribune)

Evocatively written, well translated and beautifully illustrated. (Richard Sennett New York Newsday)

General readers as well as academic specialists will revel in the wealth of historical detail and insight offered here. Ariès saw three basic forces contributing to the profound social changes of the early modern era: the rise of state power, the spread of literacy, and new forms of religious piety. Together, the essays address each of these realms from several angles, providing glimpses at everything from cookbooks to charivaris, love letters to lettres decachet. The pattern that emerges is the creation of a sphere of private life, thought, and feeling that was unknown in the Middle Ages. (Choice)

There’s something wonderfully audacious about the very concept of ‘History of Private Life,’ a five-volume study that seeks to reveal the most intimate details of everyday life over three millennia of Western European history. Here is one scholarly work in which the bathroom and the bordello figure as importantly as the storming of the Bastille or the defeat of Napoleon... A fascinating glimpse into the distant and exotic past. (Jonathan Kirsch Los Angeles Times)

The new emphasis on the history of everybody has now been consecrated in [this] ambitious five-volume series...masterfully translated by Arthur Goldhammer... Copious illustrative materials―paintings, drawings, caricatures, and photographs, all cannily chosen and wittily captioned to display domestic life... Magnificent. (Roger Shattuck New York Times Book Review)

Together these five compact volumes cover much of the history of the classical world, and do so with both ease and authority. (Washington Post Book World)

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