Author: Robert Darnton

Title: The Great Cat massacre: and other episodes in French cultural history

Genre: non-fiction

Publication date: 1985

number of pages: 289

geographical setting: France

time period: 1700’s

Plot summary: this  book looks at how the citizens of France thought, more importantly how they thought and what they thought about thier world. At a time when scientific explinations for things where coming to the fore front, many myths and tales still abounded in the popular culture.

Included in the books are subjects such as the original tale of little red riding hood and other fairy tales, and thier meanins in 18th centrury France. Also why some french printing apprentences found the massacreing of local cats both hilarious and a warning to thier owners.

The wild antics of the French in this book will have you saying, “What were they thinking?”

subject headings: history, French-culture

appeal terms: culture, French, 1700’s, politics, intellectualism, humanists, pre-revolution, history,

three terms to describe this book: Hilarious, thought provoking, insight

relecant fiction:

Mistress of the Revolution by Catherine Delors. A romance novel that centers around the French Revolution era.

Loss of Innocence by Anne Walther. A noble womans attempts to save Marie Anntionette during the French revolution.

The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas. A classic tale of adventure that takes place just before the French Revolution.

relevant non-fiction:

The Cheese and The worms: The cosmos of a 16th century miller by Carlo Ginzburg. Simular to The Great Cat Massacre, this is a book on the views of world as seen through an Italian miller who is brought to trial in front of an inquisition.

The Return on Martin Deguerre by Natalie Davis. in 17th century France a well to do couple moves to the country and changes thier names to fit in.  This book explores a couple different ideas, all based around a trial that is the only record of the strange happenings.

The night battles by Carlos Ginzburg. This book discusses the preveleance of witches and cults in agarian Italy.


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