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Kingdoms of Paper

Natalie Zemon Davis: Identity and Faking It, 18 October 2007

Who Are You? Identification, Deception and Surveillance in Early Modern Europe 
by Valentin Groebner, translated by Mark Kyburz and John Peck.
Zone, 349 pp., £18.95, April 2007, 978 1 890951 72 6
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... or for the many peasants and artisans who could not sign their names in the 16th century, by a mark, often an X, sometimes an individual design. The writing and reading aloud of the final document (and its translation, if needed, into the local language of the parties involved) took place in the presence of witnesses – relatives, neighbours, artisans in ...

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