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Return of Martin Guerre

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ISBN-10: 0674766911

ISBN-13: 9780674766914

Edition: 1983

Authors: Natalie Zemon Davis

List price: $27.50
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The Inventive Peasant Arnaud du Tilh had almost persuaded the learned judges at the Parlement of Toulouse, when on a summer's day in 1560 a man swaggered into the court on a wooden leg, denounced Arnaud, and reestablished his claim to the identity, property, and wife of Martin Guerre. The astonishing case captured the imagination of the Continent. Told and retold over the centuries, the story of Martin Guerre became a legend, still remembered in the Pyrenean village where the impostor was executed more than 400 years ago. Now a noted historian, who served as consultant for a new French film on Martin Guerre, has searched archives and lawbooks to add new dimensions to a tale already abundant in mysteries: we are led to ponder how a common man could become an impostor in the sixteenth century, why Bertrande de Rols, an honorable peasant woman, would accept such a man as her husband, and why lawyers, poets, and men of letters like Montaigne became so fascinated with the episode. Natalie Zemon Davis reconstructs the lives of ordinary people, in a sparkling way that reveals the hidden attachments and sensibilities of nonliterate sixteenth-century villagers. Here we see men and women trying to fashion their identities within a world of traditional ideas about property and family and of changing ideas about religion. We learn what happens when common people get involved in the workings of the criminal courts in the ancien reacute;gime, and how judges struggle to decide who a man was in the days before fingerprints and photographs. We sense the secret affinity between the eloquent men of law and the honey-tongued village impostor, a rare identification across class lines. Deftly written to please both the general public and specialists, The Return of Martin Guerre will interest those who want to know more about ordinary families and especially women of the past, and about the creation of literary legends. It is also a remarkable psychological narrative about where self-fashioning stops and lying begins.
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Book details

List price: $27.50
Copyright year: 1983
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 10/15/1984
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 176
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.704
Language: English

From Hendaye to Artigat
The Discontented Peasant
The Honor of Bertrande de Rols
The Masks of Arnaud du Tilh
The Invented Marriage
The Trial At Rieux
The Trial At Toulouse
The Return of Martin Guerre
The Storyteller
Histoire prodigieuse, Histoire tragique
of The Lame Epilogue Selected
Bibliography of Writings on Martin Guerre
First edition of Coras, Arrest Memorable (1561)
Bibliothegrave;que Nationale
First page of The Arrest Memorable (1561)
bibliothegrave;que Mazarine
The routes of Martin Guerre
Whimsical soldiers, ca
1545 Archives deacute;partementales de l'ariegrave;ge, 5E6220
Peasants dance
bibliothegrave;que Nationale, Cabinet des Estampes
A rural couple
Bibliothegrave;que Nationale
Confrontation between Accused and witness
Harvard Law School Library, Treasure Room
First pictorial representation of The case
Bibliothegrave;que Mazarine, Paris
Jean de Coras
Bibliothegrave;que Nationale, Cabinet des Estampes
A case of remarkable resemblance
University of Pennsylvania, Furness Memorial Library, Special Collections, Van Pelt Library
Punishment Arrives on a wooden leg
Princeton University Library, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections