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The Beggar and the Professor

A Sixteenth-Century Family Saga

From a wealth of vivid autobiographical writings, Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie reconstructs the extraordinary life of Thomas Platter and the lives of his sons. With masterful erudition, Le Roy Ladurie deepens and expands the historical contexts of these accounts and, in the process, brings to life the customs, perceptions, and character of an age poised at the threshold of modernity.

"Le Roy Ladurie paints a remarkably contemporary picture of life in the sixteenth century. . . . It’s a good story, told with a deft narrative touch."—Michael S. Kimmel, The Nation

"Le Roy Ladurie is a master of the representative detail and uses the Platters’ lives as a means to see a whole century ’through a glass, darkly’."—The Independent

"Le Roy Ladurie has not only thoroughly sketched out the Platters’ particular brand of gusto, he has also made it seem a defining characteristic of the sixteenth century."—The New Republic

"All [of] the drama and pathos of a Disney film."—Emily Eakin, Lingua Franca

Read Chapter One: Pilgrimage to the Valais.


416 pages | 26 halftones, 5 maps, 1 table | 6 x 9-1/4 | © 1997

Biography and Letters

History: European History

Table of Contents

Author’s Note
Part One
Father and Son: Thomas and Felix Platter
1. Pilgrimage to the Valais
Part Two
Childhoods and Undertakings (1499-1551)
2. The Platter Childhoods: Thomas
3. The Platter Childhoods: Felix
4. Platter Enterprises: Thomas
Part Three
Five Years in the Land of Oc (1552-1556)
5. Traveling to Montpellier
6. Living in Montpellier
Part Four
The Year 1557
7. Going to Paris (Spring 1557)
8. The Spring of 1557: Anabasis
9. Summer and Fall: Thesis and Wedding
Part Five
Boy or Girl?
10. Gredlin
11. Tomlin
Notes
Bibliography
Maps
Index

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