Becoming Bourgeois: Love, Kinship, and Power in Provincial France, 1670–1880

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9780801453984: Becoming Bourgeois: Love, Kinship, and Power in Provincial France, 1670–1880

Becoming Bourgeois traces the fortunes of three French families in the municipality of Vannes, in Brittany―Galles, Jollivet, and Le Ridant―who rose to prominence in publishing, law, the military, public administration, and intellectual pursuits over the course of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Revisiting complex issues of bourgeois class formation from the perspective of the interior lives of families, Christopher H. Johnson argues that the most durable and socially advantageous links forging bourgeois ascent were those of kinship. Economic success, though certainly derived from the virtues of hard work and intelligent management, was always underpinned by marriage strategies and the diligent intervention of influential family members.

Johnson's examination of hundreds of personal letters opens up a whole world: the vicissitudes of courtship; the centrality of marriage; the depths of conjugal love; the routines of pregnancy and the drama of childbirth; the practices of child rearing and education; the powerful place of siblings; the role of kin in advancing the next generation; tragedy and deaths; the enormous contributions of women in all aspects of becoming bourgeois; and the pleasures of gathering together in intimate soirées, grand balls, country houses, and civic and political organizations. Family love bound it all together, and this is ultimately what this book is about, as four generations of rather ordinary provincial people capture our hearts.

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About the Author:

Christopher H. Johnson is Professor of History Emeritus at Wayne State University. He is the author of Utopian Communism in France, The Life and Death of Industrial Languedoc, 1700–1920, and Maurice Sugar, and is the coeditor most recently of Blood and Kinship.

Review:

"Johnson's latest book, in my opinion, represents his supreme intellectual achievement. Since the turn ofthe century, his method of studying economic history--culling data, facts, and testimony from archives;synthesizing and interpreting them by means of theories of development and crisis--has been overtakenby studies of the writings on political economy." -- Stephen Miller,H-France Review(July 2016)



"The book chips away at our assumptions about a period and a class thatseem to epitomize "separate spheres." It convincingly demonstrates the importance of studying the inner life of a family―“its taken-for-granteds, itshabitus, and within the grid of kinship that provides the bedrock of classsolidarity” (299). It is also a delight to read." -- Denise Z. Davidson,Journal of Interdisciplinary History



"Becoming Bourgeois is a monumental study of many generations of a French family, based on an extraordinary cache of documents, particularly letters. Christopher H. Johnson's book reads like a grand historical novel, full of details about place and politics, but focused on the intimate lives of his protagonists. He shows us how this family and its networks of kin and friendship lived, thought, and worked over the course of two centuries. Johnson's deft and subtle readings bring us close to these lives. The family story is told for its own sake, but the history of economics, social structures, and political conflict comes alive in these pages. This is a major contribution to social history."―Joan Wallach Scott, Professor Emerita, School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study



"This is the book I have been waiting for for a long time. It finally puts real 'flesh on the genealogical bones.' It is not only the best place to go to understand the family and kinship dynamics of nineteenth-century Europe, but it is also a good read in itself: elegant, gripping, and moving. Through a long and productive scholarly career, Christopher H. Johnson has been honing his considerable skills to arrive at a major work of cultural and social synthesis with a fine feel for detail and a sovereign grasp of the most salient issues of current historical research. This book will not disappear into the maelstrom of academic publishing but will establish itself quickly as a classic and will continue to be read and influence research for several generations to come."―David Warren Sabean, Henry J. Brumen Endowed Professor of German History, UCLA, author of Kinship in Neckarhausen, 1700–1870

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Book Description Cornell University Press, United States, 2020. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Becoming Bourgeois traces the fortunes of three French families in the municipality of Vannes, in Brittany--Galles, Jollivet, and Le Ridant--who rose to prominence in publishing, law, the military, public administration, and intellectual pursuits over the course of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Revisiting complex issues of bourgeois class formation from the perspective of the interior lives of families, Christopher H. Johnson argues that the most durable and socially advantageous links forging bourgeois ascent were those of kinship. Economic success, though certainly derived from the virtues of hard work and intelligent management, was always underpinned by marriage strategies and the diligent intervention of influential family members. Johnson s examination of hundreds of personal letters opens up a whole world: the vicissitudes of courtship; the centrality of marriage; the depths of conjugal love; the routines of pregnancy and the drama of childbirth; the practices of child rearing and education; the powerful place of siblings; the role of kin in advancing the next generation; tragedy and deaths; the enormous contributions of women in all aspects of becoming bourgeois; and the pleasures of gathering together in intimate soirees, grand balls, country houses, and civic and political organizations. Family love bound it all together, and this is ultimately what this book is about, as four generations of rather ordinary provincial people capture our hearts. Bookseller Inventory # AAR9780801453984

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Book Description Cornell University Press, United States, 2020. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Becoming Bourgeois traces the fortunes of three French families in the municipality of Vannes, in Brittany--Galles, Jollivet, and Le Ridant--who rose to prominence in publishing, law, the military, public administration, and intellectual pursuits over the course of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Revisiting complex issues of bourgeois class formation from the perspective of the interior lives of families, Christopher H. Johnson argues that the most durable and socially advantageous links forging bourgeois ascent were those of kinship. Economic success, though certainly derived from the virtues of hard work and intelligent management, was always underpinned by marriage strategies and the diligent intervention of influential family members. Johnson s examination of hundreds of personal letters opens up a whole world: the vicissitudes of courtship; the centrality of marriage; the depths of conjugal love; the routines of pregnancy and the drama of childbirth; the practices of child rearing and education; the powerful place of siblings; the role of kin in advancing the next generation; tragedy and deaths; the enormous contributions of women in all aspects of becoming bourgeois; and the pleasures of gathering together in intimate soirees, grand balls, country houses, and civic and political organizations. Family love bound it all together, and this is ultimately what this book is about, as four generations of rather ordinary provincial people capture our hearts. Bookseller Inventory # AAR9780801453984

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