Rich and poor in Grenoble, 1600-1814 /
Kathryn Norberg.
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1985.
xii, 366 p. : map.
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Berkeley : University of California Press, c1985.
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
Bibliography: p. 345-352.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1986-03:
Norberg's important monograph focuses on the changing patterns of poor relief in Old Regime France. The author (University of California, San Diego) characterizes charity in 17th-century Grenoble as individual, personal, and paternalistic. At its heart was the confraternity and, especially, the individual testamentary bequest. By the end of the 18th century, however, the wealthy displayed little inclination to leave money in their wills for charitable purposes. As a result, poor relief was increasingly bureaucratized and channeled through public institutions designed to minimize contact between rich and poor. Norberg argues that the principal reason for this changeover was the decline of Counter-Reformation spirituality, coupled with new attitudes about poverty that held the poor, and not anonymous forces, responsible for their own plight. The book also documents what might be described as Grenoble's two cultures: the rich and the poor. A detailed, statistical study of wills provides invaluable information about the former, and the latter is examined through a discussion of such topics as crime, vagrancy, illegitimacy, and work. This study constitutes a major contribution to the social history of the Old Regime that complements recent work by such scholars as Cissie Fairchilds and Jean Pierre Gutton. Graduate readership.-R.L. Kagan, Johns Hopkins University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, March 1986
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