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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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... These books are the recent work of one of the leading exponents of the ‘new’ history of the French school. The historical achievement of French academics over the last twenty years has set an example to historians in all other countries. French demographers have reopened the whole topic of population change, devising new techniques, asking new questions, and combining accurate measurement with ...

Mr Big & Co

Denis Feeney: Roman Victory!

21 February 2008
The Roman Triumph 
by Mary​ Beard.
Harvard, 434 pp., November 2007, 978 0 674 02613 1
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... an extra from Braveheart, being garrotted in the street; and in his son’s triumph the victor leaving his house with his wife, sister and long dead mother to sit down and watch the show. Reading Mary Beard’s The Roman Triumph, however, makes you realise that the inherited professional wisdom isn’t much more accurate than the TV version, because our supposedly informed view of what a triumph ...

Caesar’s body shook

Denis Feeney: Cicero

22 September 2011
Cicero in Letters: Epistolary Relations of the Late Republic 
by Peter White.
Oxford, 235 pp., £40, August 2010, 978 0 19 538851 0
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... the letters require patient interpretation before we can understand the kind of artefact they are and the kind of environment from which they arose. For a start, as White shows, building on work by Mary Beard, these 900 letters are not the flotsam of chance survival they seem to be. Someone has edited and organised the collections that have survived, and that someone, according to White’s ...

You Have A Mother Don’t You?

Andrew O’Hagan: Cowboy Simplicities

11 September 2003
Searching for John Ford: A Life 
by Joseph McBride.
Faber, 838 pp., £25, May 2003, 0 571 20075 3
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... the unlovable in John Ford, which at the same time proves to be a search for the troubled lives that might be found among the shadows and voices and characters of Ford’s amazing pictures. J0hn Feeney was born near Portland, Maine, but his people were from Spiddal, a village about eight miles outside Galway City. The West of Ireland is its own Monument Valley, and all his life Ford never stopped ...

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