Monsters of the Gevaudan: The Making of a Beast

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9780674047167: Monsters of the Gevaudan: The Making of a Beast
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[Smith argues that] the attacks are a locus wherein we can witness the transition from early modernity to modernity itself. In other words, rather than being simply a remnant of backwards superstition, the "beast" was made possible by an emerging news and media culture (mainly in the form of periodicals), a relatively nascent but increasingly vigorous scientific naturalism associated with the Enlightenment, and religious and political unrest and controversy, much of which foreshadows the revolution that would begin in 1790 and usher in the modern world...Will Monsters of the Gevaudan: The Making of a Beast settle the debate about the nature of "the beast" for those interested in this strange historical episode? Almost certainly not, but the study should go a long way toward rescuing it both from oddball conjecture and contemptuous dismissal as a subject of serious inquiry. -- James Williams PopMatters 20110308 In 1764, as the Enlightenment dawned over Paris, a series of terrible killings in central France gave birth to a mystery that has endured for centuries. Jay M. Smith's penetrating work of history revisits a cultural turning point in which stories of werewolves competed for attention with groundbreaking works of science. Barnes & Noble Review 20110329 [Smith] turns the hunt for the Bete du Gevaudan and its mythologization by the European press into a tale of collective psychosis, patronizing aristocrats and misunderstood peasants; he recounts the decline of the credulity and the rise of skepticism, and the construction of one of the first national news stories...Smith has performed a valuable service by so thoroughly researching a story that has produced reams of mediocre fantasizing about bizarre hybrids, prehistoric survivals and serial killers in costume. He forces the beast to say everything it possibly can about the period. -- Graham Robb London Review of Books 20110519 [Smith's] a skilled storyteller, bringing a distant time and place vividly to life for the reader. -- Nick Owchar Los Angeles Times 20110424 Aberrations--the collective kind composed of panic and delusions--cannot simply happen in a causeless void, but as happenings they are a challenge to historians. Jay M. Smith has taken up the challenge in a book about the beast of the Gevaudan, a wolf-like monster that haunted imaginations everywhere in Europe and spread apocalyptic fear throughout the population of the Gevaudan, a remote, mountainous region in southern France in 1764 and 1765...Smith demonstrates that the noblemen and educated clerics of the region outdid the peasants in their fanciful accounts of the killings. Crudely illustrated broadsheets featuring horrific scenes of the monster mauling helpless maids hardly serve as evidence of a culture peculiar to the common people. They circulated among all social classes...What to make of it all--a passing episode or a revealing segment of sociocultural history? Jay Smith makes a convincing case for the latter. By carefully examining every aspect of the events, he demonstrates how disparate elements came together to create a spectacular case of collective false consciousness. The beast, he shows, was something people were drawn to think about, and the trains of thought led through a rich and varied mental landscape. In the end, the crucial factor may have been the media--word of mouth at first, then letters, newspaper articles, and a flood of engravings and broadsheets...Mythology has cohabited with history since the days of ancient Greece, and they still have a lot to learn from each other. The beast of the Gevaudan may not deserve a place beside the Minotaur, but it has enriched the stock of monsters that populate our imaginations. Having once been good for fantasy, it now is good for making history. -- Robert Darnton New York Review of Books 20110609 This is an impressive attempt to place the episode of the Gevaudan beast firmly in a wider frame...General readers as well as scholars will find [Smith's] analysis fascinating. -- William Doyle Literary Review 20110801

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In a brilliant, original rendition, Monsters of the Gevaudan revisits a spellbinding French tale that has captivated imaginations for over two hundred years, and offers the definitive explanation of the strange events that underlie this timeless story. In 1764 a peasant girl was killed and partially eaten while tending a flock of sheep. Eventually, over a hundred victims fell prey to a mysterious creature, or creatures, whose cunning and deadly efficiency terrorized the region and mesmerized Europe. The fearsome aggressor quickly took on mythic status, and the beast of the Gevaudan passed into French folklore. What species was this killer, why did it decapitate so many of its victims, and why did it prefer the flesh of women and children? Why did contemporaries assume that the beast was anything but a wolf, or a pack of wolves, as authorities eventually claimed, and why is the tale so often ignored in histories of the ancien regime? Smith finds the answer to these last two questions in an accident of timing. The beast was bound to be perceived as strange and anomalous because its ravages coincided with the emergence of modernity itself. Expertly situated within the social, intellectual, cultural, and political currents of French life in the 1760s, Monsters of the Gevaudan will engage a wide range of readers with both its recasting of the beast narrative and its compelling insights into the allure of the monstrous in historical memory.

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Jay M. Smith
Editorial: HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States (2011)
ISBN 10: 0674047168 ISBN 13: 9780674047167
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Descripción HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2011. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. 236 x 155 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In a brilliant, original rendition, Monsters of the Gevaudan revisits a spellbinding French tale that has captivated imaginations for over two hundred years, and offers the definitive explanation of the strange events that underlie this timeless story. In 1764 a peasant girl was killed and partially eaten while tending a flock of sheep. Eventually, over a hundred victims fell prey to a mysterious creature, or creatures, whose cunning and deadly efficiency terrorized the region and mesmerized Europe. The fearsome aggressor quickly took on mythic status, and the beast of the Gevaudan passed into French folklore. What species was this killer, why did it decapitate so many of its victims, and why did it prefer the flesh of women and children? Why did contemporaries assume that the beast was anything but a wolf, or a pack of wolves, as authorities eventually claimed, and why is the tale so often ignored in histories of the ancien regime? Smith finds the answer to these last two questions in an accident of timing. The beast was bound to be perceived as strange and anomalous because its ravages coincided with the emergence of modernity itself. Expertly situated within the social, intellectual, cultural, and political currents of French life in the 1760s, Monsters of the Gevaudan will engage a wide range of readers with both its recasting of the beast narrative and its compelling insights into the allure of the monstrous in historical memory. Nº de ref. de la librería AAU9780674047167

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Jay M. Smith
Editorial: HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States (2011)
ISBN 10: 0674047168 ISBN 13: 9780674047167
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Descripción HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2011. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. 236 x 155 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In a brilliant, original rendition, Monsters of the Gevaudan revisits a spellbinding French tale that has captivated imaginations for over two hundred years, and offers the definitive explanation of the strange events that underlie this timeless story. In 1764 a peasant girl was killed and partially eaten while tending a flock of sheep. Eventually, over a hundred victims fell prey to a mysterious creature, or creatures, whose cunning and deadly efficiency terrorized the region and mesmerized Europe. The fearsome aggressor quickly took on mythic status, and the beast of the Gevaudan passed into French folklore. What species was this killer, why did it decapitate so many of its victims, and why did it prefer the flesh of women and children? Why did contemporaries assume that the beast was anything but a wolf, or a pack of wolves, as authorities eventually claimed, and why is the tale so often ignored in histories of the ancien regime? Smith finds the answer to these last two questions in an accident of timing. The beast was bound to be perceived as strange and anomalous because its ravages coincided with the emergence of modernity itself. Expertly situated within the social, intellectual, cultural, and political currents of French life in the 1760s, Monsters of the Gevaudan will engage a wide range of readers with both its recasting of the beast narrative and its compelling insights into the allure of the monstrous in historical memory. Nº de ref. de la librería AAU9780674047167

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Smith, Jay M.
ISBN 10: 0674047168 ISBN 13: 9780674047167
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Jay M. Smith
Editorial: Harvard University Press
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Descripción Harvard University Press. Hardback. Estado de conservación: new. BRAND NEW, Monsters of the Gevaudan: The Making of a Beast, Jay M. Smith, In a brilliant, original rendition, Monsters of the Gevaudan revisits a spellbinding French tale that has captivated imaginations for over two hundred years, and offers the definitive explanation of the strange events that underlie this timeless story. In 1764 a peasant girl was killed and partially eaten while tending a flock of sheep. Eventually, over a hundred victims fell prey to a mysterious creature, or creatures, whose cunning and deadly efficiency terrorized the region and mesmerized Europe. The fearsome aggressor quickly took on mythic status, and the beast of the Gevaudan passed into French folklore. What species was this killer, why did it decapitate so many of its victims, and why did it prefer the flesh of women and children? Why did contemporaries assume that the beast was anything but a wolf, or a pack of wolves, as authorities eventually claimed, and why is the tale so often ignored in histories of the ancien regime? Smith finds the answer to these last two questions in an accident of timing. The beast was bound to be perceived as strange and anomalous because its ravages coincided with the emergence of modernity itself. Expertly situated within the social, intellectual, cultural, and political currents of French life in the 1760s, Monsters of the Gevaudan will engage a wide range of readers with both its recasting of the beast narrative and its compelling insights into the allure of the monstrous in historical memory. Nº de ref. de la librería B9780674047167

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Smith, Jay M.
Editorial: Harvard Univ Press
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Descripción Harvard Univ Press. Estado de conservación: BRAND NEW. BRAND NEW Hardcover A Brand New Quality Book from a Full-Time Bookshop in business since 1992!. Nº de ref. de la librería 2365520

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Jay M. Smith
Editorial: Harvard University Press 2011-03-04, Cambridge, Mass (2011)
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Descripción Harvard University Press 2011-03-04, Cambridge, Mass, 2011. hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780674047167

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Smith, Jay M.
Editorial: Harvard Univ Pr (2011)
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Descripción Harvard Univ Pr, 2011. HRD. Estado de conservación: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Nº de ref. de la librería TH-9780674047167

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Jay M. Smith
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Descripción 2011. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 155mm x 235mm x 33mm. Hardcover. In a brilliant, original rendition, Monsters of the Gevaudan revisits a spellbinding French tale that has captivated imaginations for over two hundred years, and offers the definitive expl.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 392 pages. 0.771. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780674047167

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Descripción Harvard University Press. Estado de conservación: New. Brand New. Nº de ref. de la librería 0674047168

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Jay M. Smith
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Descripción Harvard University Press, 2011. HRD. Estado de conservación: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Nº de ref. de la librería BB-9780674047167

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