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The Impostor

Peter Burke, 19 April 1984

Le Retour de Martin Guerre 
by Natalie Davis, Jean-Claude Carrière and Daniel Vigne.
Robert Laffont, 269 pp.
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The Return of Martin Guerre 
by Natalie Davis.
Harvard, 162 pp., £12.75, October 1983, 0 674 76690 3
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... of ‘the maid saved from the gallows’ by the arrival of a messenger. It is small wonder that Daniel Vigne was sufficiently attracted by the story to turn it into a film: this has been shown in France and the USA, though it still awaits distribution in Britain. Coincidence dogs Martin’s limping footsteps to the last. Before his film was made, ...

Leo’s Silences

Robert Irwin: The travels of Leo Africanus, 8 February 2007

Trickster Travels: A 16th-Century Muslim between Worlds 
by Natalie Zemon Davis.
Faber, 448 pp., £20, January 2007, 978 0 571 20256 0
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... The bogus Martin Guerre was an obscure figure until Davis – together with the film director Daniel Vigne and the actor Gérard Depardieu – made him famous. Her reconstruction of the story of the impersonation and its acceptance by the woman owed almost as much to speculation as it did to written evidence. Trickster Travels is another ...

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