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The Beggar and the Professor: A Sixteenth-Century Family Saga (Le siècle des Platter, 1499-1628 #1)

3.27  ·  Rating Details ·  41 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
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 mode ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published June 6th 1998 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 1995)
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Nov 16, 2012 Lydia rated it really liked it
A rare find thanks to Thomas and Felix Platter's obsessive journaling in 1500s-1600s. Ladurie essentially frames this family biography as a rags to riches story though it's more like rags to riches to rags to riches with lots of debt involved. Thomas Platter is a Swiss patriarch with extreme hiking skills (walked from one end of Switzerland to the other numerous time, across the Alps etc.) who was born in pastoral village and became a political and economic player. The story features his brillia ...more
Aug 22, 2010 Sienna rated it liked it
I've been a bit lax in noting the books I've read for my thesis (on account of the thesis itself, which needs to be completed in the next few weeks!) but wanted to mention this highlight. Absolutely fascinating account of sixteenth-century life based on the autobiographical writings of self-made man Thomas Platter and his son Felix, who became a doctor. (Even though people with deformities and broken bones grossed him out. Also, he was terrified of rings. You have to read to find out why!) The w ...more
I read this to enlarge my understanding of life in the sixteenth century, beyond the 'sexed up' accounts of history penned by historians inorder to sell books more than inform. I was not disappointed.

But the work was a hard read, and one for those seriously interested in the era. Life was a little unextrodinary I think for most, and this work confirms it as such. This a serious book, but at times I was confused regarding whose thoughts were being presented.

Am I better informed... well not so mu
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Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie is a French historian whose work is mainly focused upon Languedoc in the ancient regime, particularly the history of the peasantry.

Emmanuel Ladurie is professor at the Collège de France and, since 1973, chair, department of history of modern civilization. He has had a distinguished career, serving as Administrateur Général of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (1987-94);
More about Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie...

Other Books in the Series

Le siècle des Platter, 1499-1628 (3 books)
  • De reis van Thomas Platter 1595-1599 (De Familie Platter #2)
  • L'Europe de Thomas Platter: France, Angleterre, Pays-Bas 1599-1600 (Le siècle des Platter III)

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