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Two Wheels Good

Graham Robb: The history of the bicycle, 6 July 2006

Bicycle: The History 
by David Herlihy.
Yale, 480 pp., £15.99, August 2006, 0 300 12047 8
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... view of human endeavour to see the Velocimano as a forerunner of the aeroplane. According to David Herlihy, ‘the bicycle as we know it was largely a product of the Victorian imagination and the tremendous ingenuity that characterised that age.’ Yet Baron Drais himself showed that ingenuity was not always a blessing. In 1837, the Baron appeared ...

Men’s Honour, Women’s Lives

Peter Burke, 6 March 1986

Trial by Impotence: Virility and Marriage in Pre-Revolutionary France 
by Pierre Darmon, translated by Paul Keegan.
Chatto, 234 pp., £10.95, March 1985, 9780701129149
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The Boundaries of Eros: Sex, Crime and Sexuality in Renaissance Venice 
by Guido Ruggiero.
Oxford, 223 pp., £25, March 1985, 0 19 503465 1
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The Tuscans and their Families: A Study of the Florentine Catasto of 1427 
by David Herlihy and Christiane Klapisch-Zuber.
Yale, 404 pp., £32, March 1985, 0 300 03056 8
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Women, Family and Ritual in Renaissance Italy 
by Christiane Klapisch-Zuber, translated by Lydia Cochrane.
Chicago, 338 pp., £25.50, September 1985, 0 226 43925 9
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French Women in the Age of Enlightenment 
edited by Samia Spencer.
Indiana, 429 pp., $35, November 1984, 0 253 32481 5
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... reconstructs sexual norms from the actions – and the fates – of a few hundred deviants, David Herlihy and Christiane Klapisch base their generalisations about the Tuscans and their families on one magnificent document, the Florentine property tax of 1427, which was based on a house-to-house survey of about a quarter of a million people. A ...

To Fiji with Measles

Terence Ranger: Plagues, 4 February 1999

The Black Death and the Transformation of the West 
by David Herlihy.
Harvard, 117 pp., £17.95, October 1997, 0 674 07613 3
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Plague, Pox and Pestilence 
edited by Kenneth Kiple.
Weidenfeld, 176 pp., £25, January 1997, 0 297 82254 3
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Epidemics and History: Disease, Power and Imperialism 
by Sheldon Watts.
Yale, 400 pp., £30, January 1997, 0 300 07015 2
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... of earthly things – epidemic disease has been to Euro-American empires. These books – even David Herlihy’s posthumously published account of the Black Death in Europe – are best approached as essays in World History. As Samuel Cohn makes clear in his incisive introduction, Herlihy’s argument that the ...

English Individualism Revisited

Alan Ryan, 21 January 1988

The Culture of Capitalism 
by Alan Macfarlane.
Blackwell, 254 pp., £19.50, August 1987, 0 631 13626 6
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... by setting about it with the enthusiasm of crusaders clearing the infidel from Jerusalem. David Herlihy of Harvard derided it as ‘a silly book, founded on faulty method and propounding a preposterous thesis’, while Lawrence Stone thought it advanced ‘an implausible hypothesis based on a far-fetched connection with one still uproven fact of ...

Monsieur Montaillou

Rosalind Mitchison, 7 August 1980

The Territory of the Historian 
by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, translated by Sian Ben.
Harvester, 346 pp., £12.50, May 1979, 0 85527 565 0
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Montaillou 
by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, translated by Barbara Bray.
Penguin, 382 pp., £2.50, May 1980, 0 14 005471 5
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Carnival: a People’s Uprising in Romans, 1579-1580 
by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, translated by Mary Feeney.
Scolar, 426 pp., £12.50, May 1980, 0 85967 591 2
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... excuse for befogging the reader. Montaillou was, last October, the subject of an attack by David Herlihy in Social History on the grounds of inaccurate handling of its source material. The specific accusation was of mistranslation from the Latin, and of the irrelevant introduction of material about incidents elsewhere. There is also the problem of ...

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