Catalogue

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Royal censorship of books in eighteenth-century France /
Raymond Birn.
imprint
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 2012.
description
xii, 195 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0804763593 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780804763592 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 2012.
isbn
0804763593 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780804763592 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
The origins of "enlightened" censorship -- Censorship under Louis XV : the crisis of authority -- Censors at work, 1750-1763 -- Cultural intermediary, agency of repression? -- Royal censorship in a pre-revolutionary climate -- Searching for a rudder -- How to censor rebellion.
general note
"The preface, introduction, and chapters 1-4 were originally published in France under the title La censure royale des livres dans la France des Lumières."
catalogue key
8293686
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
"[A] welcome study . . . The reality of censorship was thus far more complex and nuanced than has often been supposed, and this study, which makes excellent use of the censors' original reports in the Bibliothèque nationale de France archives, is useful in correcting a number of misconceptions."David Adams, French Studies
"Birn's new study is an invaluable contribution to [his] impressive corpus. It offers richly documented insight into the complex mental world of Enlightenment-era censors, along with a compelling account of how the government managed their work, and in th
"Birn's new study is an invaluable contribution to [his] impressive corpus. It offers richly documented insight into the complex mental world of Enlightenment-era censors, along with a compelling account of how the government managed their work, and in the effort, ended up encapsulating so many of the key paradoxes of modernization in the eighteenth century."-- H-France
"This book is an invaluable contribution to our understanding not just of the quotidian functioning of an Old Regime institution, but also of Old Regime culture, Enlightenment ideals, and the relationship between state and society. [B]irn's study of royal censorship in the eighteenth century reveals far more than the quotidian functioning of an Old Regime institution. Any student of the Old Regime, the Enlightenment, and the French Revolution will find Birn's book enlightening and useful."G. Matthew Adkins, H-Net Reviews
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Summaries
Main Description
Today, we are inclined to believe that intellectual freedom has no greater adversary than the censor. In eighteenth-century France, the matter was more complicated. Royal censors envisioned themselves not as fulfilling a mission of state-sponsored repression but rather as guiding the literary traffic of the Enlightenment. By awarding pre-publication and pre-distribution approvals, royal censors sought to insulate authors and publishers from the scandal of post-publication condemnation by parliaments, the police, or the Church. Less official authorizations were also awarded. Though censors did delete words and phrases from manuscripts and sometimes rejected manuscripts altogether, the liberal use of tacit permissions and conditional approvals resulted in the publication and circulation of books that, under a less flexible system, might never have seen the light of day. In essence, eighteenth-century French censors served as cultural intermediaries who bore responsibility for expanding public awareness of the progressive thought of their time.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 1
The Origins of "Enlightened" Censorshipp. 7
Censorship under Louis XV: The Crisis of Authorityp. 21
Censors at Work, 1750-1763p. 36
Cultural Intermediary, Agency of Repression?p. 55
Royal Censorship in a Prerevolutionary Climatep. 68
Searching for a Rudderp. 84
How to Censor Rebellionp. 99
Conclusionp. 115
Notesp. 121
Bibliographyp. 153
Indexp. 185
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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