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Bonnie Smith, 21 May 1987

Journal of My Life 
by Jacques-Louis Ménétra, edited by Daniel Roche, translated by Arthur Goldhammer.
Columbia, 368 pp., $30, July 1986, 0 231 06128 5
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Disease and Civilisation: The Cholera in Paris, 1832 
by François Delaporte, translated by Arthur Goldhammer.
MIT, 250 pp., £22.50, July 1986, 0 262 04084 0
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France: Fin de Siècle 
by Eugen Weber.
Harvard, 294 pp., £16.94, October 1986, 0 674 31812 9
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... and laborious life: it is also about writing, rewriting and the telling of lies. According to Daniel Roche, whose hundred-page commentary could be a book in itself, Ménétra fashioned his work in several stages and, over a lifetime of composition, took it through several revisions, the last one in the Napoleonic period. What we see is the ...

Enlightenment’s Errand Boy

David A. Bell: The Philosophes and the Republic of Letters, 22 May 2003

Calvet’s Web: Enlightenment and the Republic of Letters in 18th-Century France 
by L.W.B. Brockliss.
Oxford, 471 pp., £55, July 2002, 9780199247486
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The Great Nation: France from Louis XV to Napoleon 
by Colin Jones.
Allen Lane, 651 pp., £25, August 2002, 0 7139 9039 2
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... new one) have repeated them to new generations of readers, while literary historians such as Daniel Mornet have taken them for granted and proceeded to tell the story of the Enlightenment’s steady diffusion outwards from its Parisian source. In the 1960s, Peter Gay gave them new power in his brilliant extended essay The Enlightenment: An ...

When to Wear a Red Bonnett

David Garrioch: Dressing up and down in 18th century France, 3 April 2003

The Politics of Appearance: Representation of Dress in Revolutionary France 
by Richard Wrigley.
Berg, 256 pp., £15.99, October 2002, 1 85973 504 5
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... that kept the courts in business for years. Dress was crucial to what the French historian Daniel Roche, in his remarkable study The Culture of Clothing, has termed ‘the hierarchy of appearances’. In 18th-century France, a plain black coat, waistcoat and breeches, with white silk stockings, was the distinctive dress of the middle-class male ...

Fatal Non-Readers

Hilary Mantel: Marie-Antoinette, 30 September 1999

The Wicked Queen: The Origins of the Myth of Marie-Antoinette 
by Chantal Thomas, translated by Julie Rose.
Zone, 255 pp., £17.95, June 1999, 0 942299 39 6
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... primarily in the source of the pamphlets or how they were distributed. Robert Darnton and Daniel Roche, among others, have made extensive studies of the underground press, of the mechanics of clandestine production and distribution. Some of the pamphlets are translated here for the first time, but of course there is nothing new in the observation ...

The National Razor

Hilary Mantel: Aux Armes, Citoyennes, 16 July 1998

The Women of Paris and Their French Revolution 
by Dominique Godineau, translated by Katherine Sharp.
California, 415 pp., £45, January 1998, 0 520 06718 5
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... of her unique perspective that Godineau’s book provides such a useful addition to the work of Daniel Roche and George Rudé; she keeps a very exact eye on both wages and working conditions in the trades she examines, and is able to question some of Rudé’s conclusions about pre-industrial organisation. On the eve of the Revolution 80 per cent of ...

Homage to Scaliger

Hugh Lloyd-Jones, 17 May 1984

Joseph Scaliger: A Study in the History of Classical Scholarship 
by Anthony Grafton.
Oxford, 359 pp., £27.50, June 1983, 9780198148500
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... fateful step of becoming a Calvinist. He obtained the patronage of Louis Chasteignier, lord of La Roche-Pozay near Poitiers, and in 1565 accompanied him on a diplomatic mission to Italy. Despite his Calvinistic contempt for Italian scholars and the Catholic Church – he preferred talking Hebrew with the learned Jews of Mantua and Ferrara to cultivating the ...

Trust me

Steven Shapin: French DNA, 27 April 2000

French DNA: Trouble in Purgatory 
by Paul Rabinow.
Chicago, 201 pp., £17.50, October 1999, 0 226 70150 6
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... Humain (CEPH); the charismatic presence is the Tunisian-French-Jewish scientific director Daniel Cohen; the time is early 1994, when genomics entrepreneurship – spurred on by the US Government-funded Human Genome Project and venture capital-fuelled commercial competition – is frenzied. The CEPH had been founded in the 1980s as a hybrid entity ...

Ireland’s Invisibilities

Owen Dudley Edwards, 15 May 1980

Ireland in the Age of Imperialism and Revolution 1760-1801 
by R.B. McDowell.
Oxford, 740 pp., £28, December 1979, 9780198224808
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... stories to require the enhancement of his prose by specimens of the ‘Irish bulls’ of Sir Boyle Roche, who single-handedly did so much to make them the symbol of the age under discussion, but the published volume seems to embody a set of paradoxes that approach bullish status. The author’s text goes on for over seven hundred pages, and his felicitous ...


Daniel Soar: Harry Mathews, 21 July 2005

My Life in CIA: A Chronicle of 1973 
by Harry Mathews.
Dalkey Archive, 203 pp., £8.99, July 2005, 1 56478 392 8
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... Richard Foreman, Kate Manheim, Louis and Zuka Mittelberg, Bruno Marcenac, Michel Loriod, Maurice Roche), he now can see that all the high-flown references he had barely understood – to Barthes, Foucault, Derrida, Lacan – were no more than intellectualising flim-flammery, rehashed versions of commentaries on commentaries. By learning to play his own ...

The Bloody Sixth

Joshua Brown: The Real Gangs of New York, 23 January 2003

The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld 
by Herbert Asbury.
Arrow, 366 pp., £6.99, January 2003, 0 09 943674 4
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Gangs of New York 
directed by Martin Scorsese.
December 2002
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... Dead Rabbits gang. After failing to subdue the riot, the police may have renamed the pro-Wood Roche (or Roach) Guard, giving it a more forbidding name in order to exaggerate the adversity they had faced; or, along with reporters, they may have mistaken an ominous vernacular term for an actual gang. In the street ‘flash’ of the day, a ‘dead ...

Running out of Soil

Terry Eagleton: Bram Stoker and Irish Protestant Gothic, 2 December 2004

From the Shadow of Dracula: A Life of Bram Stoker 
by Paul Murray.
Cape, 356 pp., £18.99, July 2004, 0 224 04462 1
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... 18th century onwards, there is a rich seam of Irish Gothic writing by women, from Regina Maria Roche and Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan) to Jane Elgee (Lady Wilde) and Elizabeth Bowen. If they were solidly reputable bourgeois, Irish Protestants also preserved a secret pact with the vagrant, the deviant, the unspeakable terror lurking in the ...

Dynamo Current, Feet, Fists, Salt

Adam Shatz: What did you do in the war?, 18 February 2021

Papa, qu’as-tu fait en Algérie? Enquête sur un silence familial 
by Raphaëlle Branche.
La Découverte, 512 pp., £21.50, September 2020, 978 2 7071 9878 5
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... This attitude persisted even as French writers and filmmakers examined the war’s legacies. In Daniel Anselme’s novel La Permission (1957), a soldier, now back in France, is having dinner with a fellow appelé when he’s seized by the feeling that ‘they’d died long before, with a bullet to the head in some far-off wadi, and that before they could ...

Todd Almighty

Peter Medawar, 16 February 1984

A Time to Remember: The Autobiography of a Chemist 
by Alexander Todd.
Cambridge, 257 pp., £15, November 1983, 0 521 25593 7
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... I should also like to know how he came to write so well in the straightforward narrative style of Daniel Defoe. But on all these matters we are left to guess: we learn the facts about his life and nothing about his motivation. Like other school-leavers, he had no rational basis for choosing one university rather than another and his retrospective judgment ...

‘What is your nation if I may ask?’

Colm Tóibín: Jews in Ireland, 30 September 1999

Jews in 20th-century Ireland: Refugees, Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust 
by Dermot Keogh.
Cork, 336 pp., £45, March 1998, 9781859181492
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... 1796, four years before the Act of Union, which allowed foreigners to naturalise, and because of Daniel O’Connell’s consistent support for Jewish rights in the House of Commons. As the Jewish population increased, however, a number of well-documented attacks on them began. On Easter Sunday 1884, a crowd in Limerick surrounded the house of Lieb ...

Cows are more important

Adam Mars-Jones: ‘The Discomfort of Evening’, 24 September 2020

The Discomfort of Evening 
by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, translated by Michele Hutchison.
Faber, 288 pp., £12.99, March, 978 0 571 34936 4
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... wider range, as Iain Banks did after The Wasp Factory in 1984, or leaves it at that, as Charlotte Roche seems to have done since the publication of Wetlands in 2008. In any case Rijneveld’s material, though irreproachably extreme, can be interpreted equally glibly in diametrically opposed ways, as an indictment of a bigoted upbringing or as a revelation of ...

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