La Belle France
A Short History
Hardcover ISBN: 1400041406
A concise history of France profiles the lives of the great leaders, artists, and others who helped shape Western culture and thought, and examines the impact of important events, social movements, and military campaigns.
Empire of Love
Histories of France and the Pacific
Paperback ISBN: 0195162951
In this broad-ranging survey of Paris, Tahiti, Indochina, Japan, New Caledonia, and the South Pacific generally, Matt Matsuda illustrates the fascinating interplay that shaped the imaginations of both colonizer and colonized. Drawing on a wealth of primary sources, Matsuda describes the constitution of a "French Pacific" through the eyes of Tahitian monarchs, Kanak warriors, French politicos and prisoners, Asian revolutionaries and Central American laborers, among others. He argues that French imperialism in the Pacific, both real and imagined, was registered most forcefully in languages of desire and love--for lost islands, promised wealth and riches, carnal and spiritual pleasures--and political affinities. Exploring the conflicting engagements with love for and against the empire in the Pacific, this book is an imaginative and ground-breaking work in global imperial and colonial histories, as well as Pacific histories.
Madame De Pompadour
Paperback ISBN: 094032265x
When Madame de Pompadour became the mistress of Louis XV, no one expected her to retain his affections for long. A member of the bourgeoisie rather than an aristocrat, she was physically too cold for the carnal Bourbon king, and had so many enemies that she could not travel publicly without risking a pelting of mud and stones. History has loved her little better. Nancy Mitford’s delightfully candid biography re-creates the spirit of eighteenth-century Versailles with its love of pleasure and treachery. We learn that the Queen was a “bore,” the Dauphin a “prig,” and see France increasingly overcome with class conflict. With a fiction writer’s felicity, Mitford restores the royal mistress and celebrates her as a survivor, unsurpassed in “the art of living,” who reigned as the most powerful woman in France for nearly twenty years. "No historian writing in English has given a better pen-picture of Versailles in its heyday." -- Time
The French Book
Religion, Absolutism, and Readership, 1585-1715
Paperback ISBN: 0801854199
Martin begins with a sweeping look at the revolutionary role played by the new technology of printing in Renaissance and Reformation Europe. Shifting the focus to France, he then examines the political implications of publishing in the reign of Francis I, and includes such topics as the founding of royal and university libraries, the role of church-state relations, Richelieu's cultural program, and censorship. In revealing case studies of Rouen and Grenoble, Martin pinpoints precisely which books were sold and to which social groups, and he explains why the initially successful printers of Rouen were eventually forced out of business by the Parisian courts. Martin also casts a discerning eye on early graphic design - from the first illustrated "coffee table" books purchased by the newly rich to the invention of the paragraph to facilitate reading. And he shows how attempts by the French government to suppress and control publication were eventually thwarted by free market forces from Amsterdam and Neufchatel.
Artists Under Vichy
A Case of Prejudice and Persecution
Hardcover ISBN: 0691040885
While France endured one of the darkest hours of its entire history, from the occupation of Paris in June 1940 to the liberation of the city four years later, the French art world displayed an astonishing burst of creativity, an atmosphere of laissez-faire and pluralism that seems at odds with the repressive nature of culture under authoritarian regimes. So reveals Michele Cone in this provocative work on the art of Vichy and occupied France. But, as Cone also discloses, Vichy xenophobia and Nazi racism kept many artists from participating in this bonanza of artistic activity. In Artists under Vichy, both narrative and illustrations demonstrate in full detail the contrast between the "haves" and the "have-nots" during a vital but until now little explored artistic period. The first section of the work analyzes the lavish attention paid to both academic and nonacademic art by the official French press, by Vichy, and by German observers. Cone hypothesizes that the German strategy in Vichy France was to allow the display of nonconformist art, outlawed as "degenerate" in Germany, in order to distract the public from the secret seizure of museum pieces and Jewish art collections--and from other, far greater Nazi crimes. Neither among the "haves" nor the "have-nots," Picasso, forbidden to exhibit, lived through this period in Paris, quietly but productively. The second section of this book considers his production and that of the true "have-nots"--persecuted artists, including resisters and Jews, in hiding or self-imposed exile from Paris in the free zone. Among the "have-nots" discussed here are Arp, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Sonia Delaunay, Alberto Magnelli, Otto Freundlich, Victor Brauner, and Hans Bellmer. With increasing public interest focused on art branded "degenerate" by Hitler, Cone's text provides exciting new insights into creativity, collaboration, and resistance in artists' milieux under a repressive regime.
The Philanderer, Gambler, and Duelist Who Invented Modern Finance
Hardcover ISBN: 0684872951
A fascinating portrait of John Law describes how the the Scottish mathematical genius, playboy, and gambler invented paper money, a creation that nearly destroyed the French economy and that transformed the world of finance and banking. 50,000 first printing.
Saint-Simon and the Court of Louis XIV
Hardcover ISBN: 0226473201
The Duke of Saint-Simon (1675—1755) was by all accounts, including his own, a sensitive, self-obsessed, ill-tempered man. A courtier and phenomenal chronicler of court life under Louis XIV, he produced the monumental work Memoirs, running to thousands of pages, in which the intrigues, personalities, activities, and gossip of life at Versailles are recorded in acerbic detail. Drawing heavily on these Memoirs, renowned historian Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie offers a wonderful portrait of life under Louis XIV, focusing on the fundamental issues of hierarchy and rank in this tightly controlled universe. Saint-Simon and the Court of Louis XIV, expertly translated by Arthur Goldhammer, is a historical essay about court life, built with the wide range of tools Ladurie so expertly employs: ethnography, history, literary criticism, and historiography. Ladurie recreates a world in which man is most definitely born unequal, a world circumscribed entirely by purity of bloodline, which nonetheless directly preceded the birth of democratic thought and political action. Locked into a virtual caste system, courtiers formed within their ranks cabals, factions, and groups bonded by common ideological principles in order to survive the political order of the court. Thus Saint-Simon and the Court of Louis XIV is not only about Saint-Simon's place in this constellation but also the constellation itself and how understanding it forces us to a reevaluation of political life in France during the Old Regime. Including a biographical sketch of Saint-Simon and more than 30 illustrations of court life and its members, Saint-Simon and the Court of Louis XIV will delight those interested in French history as well as instruct those interested in political history.
The French Overseas Penal Colonies, 1854–1952
Hardcover ISBN: 0803244495
For French criminologists and colonialists of the mid-nineteenth century, the penal colonies of Guiana and New Caledonia seemed to satisfy two needs, namely, to incarcerate a growing number of criminals and to supply manpower for these developing colonies. But were these two goals not contradictory? Was the primary purpose of the penal colonies to punish or to colonize? In the prisons, inmates found means of subversion, guards resisted militaristic discipline, and camp commanders fought physicians for authority. Back in the metropole, journalistic expos catered to the publics fascination with the penal colonies horror and exoticism. An understanding of modern France is not complete without an examination of this institution, which existed for more than a century and imprisoned more than one hundred thousand people. Stephen A. Toth invites readers to experience the prisons firsthand. Through a careful analysis of criminal case files, administrative records, and prisoner biographies, Toth reconstructs life in the penal colonies and examines how the social sciences, tropical medicine, and sensational journalism evaluated and exploited the inmates experiences. In exploring the disjuncture between the real and the imagined, he moves beyond mythic characterizations of the penal colonies to reveal how power, discipline, and punishment were construed and enforced in these prison outposts.