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Rethinking France

Les Lieux de mémoire, Volume 3: Legacies

The third volume of Pierre Nora’s monumental work documenting the history and culture of France turns to French manners, mores, and society. While previous volumes focused on specific historical events, people, and institutions within France, the essays in Legacies are concerned with the kinds of things that make up the heart of French culture: conversation, cafés, songs, wine, gallantry, and places imbued with national symbolism such as Notre Dame and Sacré Coeur cathedrals. Linking these diverse topics together is the idea of patrimony—a term used by the French to designate the collective culture of the country or its national heritage—a concept that has undergone radical changes beginning with the Revolution and corresponding to other dramatic ruptures throughout France’s history.

As a whole, these twelve essays by leading French historians add up to an illuminating and well-rounded portrait of those cherished traditions that together form the basic foundation for the distinctive culture of the French.

520 pages | 126 halftones | 6 1/2 x 9 1/4 | © 2009

History: European History


"This third volume in Nora’s Rethinking France series continues the high standards of his previous explorations of the internal essences and external expressions of France’s distinctive culture."


Table of Contents


      Pierre Nora (translated by Richard C. Holbrook)

1. The Notion of Patrimony

      André Chastel (translated by Nancy Turpin)

2. The Village Church

      Philippe Boutry (translated by Nancy Turpin)

3. The Industrial Arts

      Yves Lequin (translated by Richard C. Holbrook)

4. The Industrial Age

      Louis Bergeron (translated by Richard C. Holbrook)

5. Proverbs, Tales, and Songs

      Daniel Fabre (translated by Margaret Miner)

6. Vine and Wine

      Georges Durand (translated by Hersh Glagov)

7. Gallantry

      Noémi Hepp (translated by Deke Dunisberre)

8. Conversation

      Marc Fumaroli (translated by John Ireland)

9. The Café

      Benoît Lecoq (translated by Nancy Turpin)

10. Notre Dame of Paris

      Alain Erlande-Brandenburg (translated by Janine Maltz)

11. Sacré Coeur of Montmartre

      François Loyer (translated by Janine Maltz)

12. The Collège de France

      Christophe Charle (translated by Gayle Levy)

Illustration Credits

Plan of the Volumes


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