Reading, Writing, and Publishing in Eighteenth-Century France

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Reading, Writing, and Publishing in Eighteenth-Century France
Reading, Writing, and Publishing in Eighteenth-Century France: A
Case Study in the Sociology of Literature
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Citation
Darnton, Robert. 1971. Reading, writing, and publishing in eighteenthcentury France: A case study in the sociology of literature. Daedalus
100(1): 214-256.
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ROBERT
DARNTON
in Eighteenth-Century
Reading, Writing, and Publishing
France: A Case Study in the Sociology of Literature
Non
numerantur
sed
ponderante.
?Marc
Bloch1
a
taken what
society writes,
always
publishes,
and reads as a guide to its culture, but they have never taken all
its books as
Instead, they select a few works as repre
guidebooks.
sentative of the whole
intellectual
and settle down to write
history.
Of course those select few may not deserve
to serve as cultural
Historians
have
If chosen without
attach?s.
representation,
they may
proportional
a distorted view of
in the past. Nowhere
is the
give
reading habits
more
at
miscast
distortion
classics
culturopomorphic
produced
by
a
issue than in the
the
of
French
subject
study
Enlightenment,
located at the crossroads
between
the traditional
history of ideas
and more recent trends of social history.
as a social
tend to see the Enlightenment
Social historians
"inertia"
of the forces of "innovation"
opposing
phenomenon?one
use the
in the Old
Annales
of
the
school).
(to
Regime
vocabulary
a
to
situate
within
cul
the
They attempt
general
Enlightenment
its texts. And they study cul
tural context rather than to explicate
or
ture
from statistics of authorship
often working
quantitatively,
in order to see
This essay will survey their work
book
production.
can be drawn
and reading in
what conclusions
concerning writing
to
France
and
will
show how that
then
attempt
eighteenth-century
an
of eighteenth
work might
be supplemented
by
investigation
was an
where
social, eco
century publishing.
activity
Publishing
cannot be
it
But
forces naturally
nomic, and cultural
converged.
to
in the
reference
understood,
century, without
politi
eighteenth
a
cal factors. So
final section will
and
deal with
pub
politics
as an aspect of the
crisis.
lishing
prerevolutionary
214
Reading, Writing,
and Publishing
I
culture goes back
The quantitative
study of eighteenth-century
Mornet. Mornet
to an article
Daniel
sixty years ago by
published
measure
taste
Old
under the
tried to
by tallying
Regime
literary
of private libraries, which had
up titles in five hundred
catalogues
in the Paris area between
1750
for auctions
been printed
mostly
Contrat
social.
and 1780. He found one lonely copy of Rousseau's
a
small percen
libraries contained
surprisingly
Eighteenth-century
Instead
he
discovered.
the
of
other
classics,
tage
Enlightenment
their shelves bulged with the works of history's forgotten men and
women:
and
de Graffigny,
Mme.
de Saint-Hyacinthe,
Th?miseul
French
divided
Mme.
booklovers
Riccoboni.
Eighteenth-century
literature
read
into
"before"
the philosophes,
of La nouvelle
Rousseau
and
it was
"after" Cl?ment
the Voltaire
Marot.
When
of La Henriade
and
they
the
H?loise.2
to the
the "great books" approach
ironically with
Coinciding
some of
to
out
knock
of
Mornet's
research
seemed
civilization,
study
a gap, at least, in the
He made
the pillars of the Enlightenment.
view
for Robespierre,
the way
that the Social Contract
prepared
and his followers have been trying to widen
the breach ever since.3
in
the Rousseauists
have repaired some of the damage
Meanwhile,
a counterattack
on Mornet's
evidence.4 Why
should private libraries
to
have
be taken as an indi
important enough
printed catalogues
readers? they
cation of a book's appeal to ordinary and impecunious
of the Social Contract
could
ask. They point out that the message
the
version
have reached the general reading public
of it
through
numerous
in book five of Rousseau's
Emile,
through
highly popular
or
that came out
editions of his collected works,
through editions
Ancien
momentous
last
decade
of
the
the
R?gime, which
during
case remains
not cover.5 So Mornet's
Mornet's
did
study
unproved,
either right or wrong.
Mornet
raised some fundamental
that
Nonetheless,
problems
to be faced: What was the character of
have only begun
literary
culture under the Old Regime? Who
books in the eigh
produced
teenth century, who
read them, and what were
they? It will be
to
in any cultural and social
locate the Enlightenment
impossible
are answered,
context until those questions
and they cannot be
answered
of research.
by traditional methods
a new
The most
to formulate
influential
attempt
methodology
has been Robert Escarpit's
de
la
litt?rature
(Paris, 1958 ).6
Sociologie
215
DAEDALUS
now director
of the Centre
de
suggests,
Escarpit,
to define
at Bordeaux,
the
litt?raires
wanted
faits
sociologie
of a new branch of sociology. He treated books
objects and methods
as
a
in
the communication
of writer
process,
agents
psychological
a system
as
and reader, and also
commodities,
through
circulating
of production,
Since
the author
and consumption.
distribution,
a crucial role in both the
and
the
economic
plays
psychological
on the
circuits of exchange,
concentrated
study of writ
Escarpit
ers.
a distinct
constitute
the
of
segment
They
subject to
population
on
normal demographic
he
this
he
and
laws,
assumption
argued,
a
of
produced
demographic
history
authorship.
In order to survey the literary population,
he began with
the
on to
and
back pages of the Petit Larousse, moved
bibliographies
a list of 937 writers
and emerged with
dictionaries,
biographical
born between
1490 and 1900. He then worked
this material
into a
As
his
title
des
in terms of the
appeared
the age of forty. Escarpit
observed
rose after the deaths of Louis
of young writers
that the proportion
The Edict of Nantes
also coincided
XIV, Louis XV, and Napoleon.
with an upsurge of youth, which was cut short first after the
triumph
two-page
rise and
graph, where
fall of writers
the "fait litt?raire"
under
of Richelieu
To
and then following
the collapse
of the Fronde.
was clear:
events
conclusion
liter
the
determine
political
Escarpit
He confirmed
this interpretation
to
ary demography.
by reference
a "vieillissement"
the
where
Armada
among
England,
produced
writers that was only overcome by the death of James I.
It is a stirring spectacle,
this adjustment
of the literary popula
tion to battles, edicts, revolutions,
But
and the birth of sovereigns.
a
it leaves the reader confused.
Is he to believe
that
kind of intellec
tual contraception
took hold of the republic of letters? Did writers
out of
to Good Queen
Bess
(and
loyalty
vieillissement
their curse on the queens? Did
start
in
in order to make
life more
young men
writing
England
in order to show
difficult for Charles
I, or did they stop in France
for Louis XIV?
disaffection
If one should discount
any conscious
writers
in
numbers
after the
did
decrease
motivation,
young
why
accession
of Louis XIV and increase after the accession
of Louis
limit
their population
too), or was
Victoria,
XV
216
and Louis
XVI?
And why should the birth and death of rulers
so much more
than the
importance?or
demographic
of 1789 and 1848, which do not disturb the undulations
revolutions
as a
of Escarpit's
1830 appears
great
turning
graph,
although
point?
have
such
Reading, Writing,
and Publishing
The answers to these questions might be found among the de
statistics. To take 937 writers over 410 years
of Escarpit's
ficiencies
a
is to
the
average of 2.3 writers
spread
sampling pretty thin?an
or
a
man
shift
the
could
year. Adding
subtracting
single
graph by
some
5 per cent or more, yet Escarpit
conclusions
hung
weighty
on such shifts?his
a
for example,
between
distinction,
youthful
romantic movement
and the middle-aged
character of literary life
under the Empire. More
had no idea of how
important, Escarpit
He evidently
that a few
believed
many writers went uncounted.
case
dozen men
and
in
others
the
of the
(Lamartine
twenty-three
an
romantics
entire
could
)
early
represent, demographically,
literary
a new
A few individuals
could, to be sure, represent
generation.
or cultural movement
not
trend
the
that
but
stylistic
phenomena
can be
like
and
the
conflict
analyzed demographically,
generational
resources.
to
of
adjustment
population
the sociological
attributed
between
differences
Escarpit
eigh
teenth- and
two
to
other
factors: "pro
nineteenth-century
writing
a
vincialization"
and professionalization.
He detected
rhythmic
"alternance
the
Paris-province"
by tracing
origins of
geographical
his preselected
authors. But the
suffers from
argument
geographical
the same statistical
so
fallacies as the
and
demographical,
Escarpit
fails to prove that the Paris of Balzac dominated
French
literature
In the case of
any more than the Paris of Diderot.
professionaliza
seem
conclusions
He
two
sounder.
tion, Escarpit's
produced
tables to show that there were more middle-class
statistical
pro
or writers who
lived entirely
from their pens,
in the
fessionals,
nineteenth
than in the eighteenth
is not
century. But his argument
fact
the
that
the
in
the
table
of eighteenth
helped by
percentages
century writers add up to 166 per cent.7
In this instance,
drew his statistics
from The French
Escarpit
Book Trade
in the Ancien
another
R?gime
by David
Pottinger,
of the quantitative
pro
example
study of authorship.
Pottinger
ceeded by combing biographical
for information
dictionaries
about
six hundred
"writers" who
lived between
1500 and 1800. He then
sorted his men
into five social
of
categories?the
clergy, nobility
the sword,
middle
bour
and
petty
high bourgeoisie,
bourgeoisie,
that the authors
concluded
of the Old
geosie?and
apparently
to
the
of
the
sword and
Regime
belonged
nobility
predominantly
the
more
is
the
conclusion
high bourgeoisie.
Again,
convincing
than the statistics, because
the representative
Pottinger
destroyed
ness of his
on
48.5 per cent of the writers
sample by eliminating
217
D
DALUS
the grounds
their social background.
that he could not identify
an
stroke of statistical
left
average of one author a
surgery
to
a
over three centuries.
out
social
year
support
analysis
spread
misfiled
like
individuals
Moreover,
many
apparently
Pottinger
Restif de la Bretonne,
into the category
who went
of the First
Estate because he had a brother who went
into the church. Most of
That
the sixteen
were
who
peasants,
solid. He
in that category
But who
clergymen.
others
either had
in
relatives
or
protectors
the Old
excepting
Regime,
are not much more
did not? Pottinger's
other categories
all writers who
served in the army or navy with
placed
the
of the sword and placed
archi
teachers, apothecaries,
nobility
we
can
or
and
"whom
with
the
law
with
tects,
anyone
identify
in
in
the
the
State"8
That kind
semilegal positions
high bourgeoisie.
of admissions
put at the top of society many
policy would
lowly
writers who lived like the Neveu
de Rameau but called themselves
even
the Paris bar. In any case, it is
lawyers and
registered with
strata of
to delimit
almost impossible
and low bour
high, middle,
because
social
historians
have
geois,
vainly for years to
struggled
on a
reach agreement
of
definition
the "bourgeoisie";
meaningful
in the sixteenth century may
and definitions
of social stratification
not be
to the
eighteenth.
applicable
then can one conclude
at
What
from quantitative
history's
to
nor
at
all.
Neither
tempts
analyze authorship? Nothing
Escarpit
to prove
of men
evidence
that the handful
produced
Pottinger
to
a
chose
entire
the
of
represent
they
literary population
given
in fact
neither
could possibly
do
period was
representative?and
it would
to have a census of all the
first be necessary
so, because
writers of the Old
census can be contrived, for what,
Regime. No such
after all, is a writer?
a book,
someone
Someone who has written
on
a
someone
who depends
for
who claims the title,
writing
living,
or someone on whom
con
it? Conceptual
has
bestowed
posterity
fusion and deficient data
this
branch
of
his
sociocultural
blighted
it
its
bore
first
before
But
fruit.
the
literature
need
of
tory
sociology
not stand or fall on the first
to put it in practice. And
attempts
statistics on
more fruitful than those on writers?
should
be
reading
can be modernized.
if Mornet
II
Mornet
culture
218
showed
that a primary
to
obstacle
the
understanding
is our
to answer the fundamental
inability
of the Old Regime
Reading, Writing,
and Publishing
read? The an
Frenchmen
did eighteenth-century
question: What
swer eludes us because we have no best-seller
lists or statistics on
his
book "consumption"
for the early modern
period. Quantitative
in a variety
torians therefore
have
taken soundings
of sources,
to tap
information
to reconstruct
the general out
hoping
enough
line of eighteenth-century
Their
habits.
for
predilection
reading
statistics does not imply any belief that they can reduce the reader's
or measure
to numbers,
internal experience
quality quantitatively,
or
a numerical
standard of literary influence.
(Newton's
produce
score
on
would
low
crude
statistical
any
Principia
survey.) The
an over-all
to
in
view
of
get
merely
quantifiers
reading
hope
enormous
An
and
amount
of
has
data
general
by genre.
already
in
been
and books
articles
compiled
monographic
by Fran?ois
Jean Ehrard, Jacques Roger, Daniel Roche, Fran?ois Bluche
and Jean Meyer.9 Each drew on
(using the work of R?gine Petit),
one of three kinds of sources:
of private
libraries, book
catalogues
to
state
and
the
to
for
authorization
reviews,
application
publish.
on
So the
has
been
attacked
three sides.
reading problem
heavily
If it has been cornered,
if those long hours in the archives
and
those laborious calculations
have extracted a common pattern from
the data, then one can
to watch
the general
contours
of
hope
come
culture
into
Before
focus.
eighteenth-century
literary
slowly
can be
all of the
it is
seeing whether
monographs
synthesized,
to
the
character
each
has
of
because
each,
necessary
explain
special
strengths and weaknesses.
Furet,
the Biblioth?que
Nationalen
Fran?ois Furet surveyed
registers
of requests for permission
to publish books. The requests fell into
two categories:
and per
(both privil?ges
permissions
publiques
missions
de Sceau ) for books processed
state's
the
formally through
and
bureaucratic
and
tacites
for
censoring
permissions
machinery,
as inoffensive
books that censors would not
to
morals,
openly certify
or the state. Furet
that a traditional
cultural
religion,
expected
in
show
an
would
first
the
innovative
and
pattern
up
category
pat
tern in the second, because,
thanks to Malesherbes'
liberal director
a
tacites became
ship of the book trade, the permissions
paralegal
which
works
the
reached
many Enlightenment
loophole
through
market
during the last half of the century. But what works? How
of them? And
in what proportion
to the total number
of
many
books that can be identified with
innovation? Furet could not say.
He
that an unrecorded
mass
of books circulated
acknowledged
with permissions
de
and mere
tol?r
simples, permissions
police,
219
DAEDALUS
anees
scale of
to the Old Regime's
graduated
carefully
according
unknown
stuffed
the
French
Furthermore,
quantities
quasilegality.
the false
livres" into their breeches,
of completely
illegal "mauvais
even
Parisian
lieuten
the
coach
of
the
bottoms of their trunks, and
tacites
of police. So the official list of permissions
may
ant-general
not take one very far in
innovation.
identifying
it comes to classify
thicken when
The identification
problems
in
Furet
the classifica
the
titles
entered
the
adopted
registers.
ing
standard
tion scheme of
five
headings
catalogues:
eighteenth-century
et arts," and "belles
"sciences
history,
?theology,
jurisprudence,
a
that would produce bed
lettres"?and
of subcategories
profusion
rococo readers,
in any modern
travel books be
library. To
came after
under
"?conomie
and
history,
politique"
rightly
longed
all
and agronomy,
and medicine
and before agriculture
chemistry
in "sciences
et arts." But the modern
reader is
happy neighbors
on
works
bewildered
that
(of the
upon
politics
learning
early
were
tous
des
manuels
permissions
publiques
variety)
"presque
on "?conomie
can statistics
How
de technique
commerciale."10
to know whether
French
his
desire
reading be
satisfy
politique"
as the
came
century progressed?
political
eighteenth
increasingly
the confines of eight
questions within
twentieth-century
Framing
can be
for the
categories
eenth-century
especially
misleading,
to
into
the
fit
researcher
the
over-all
picture
Enlightenment
trying
of reading in the Old Regime.
Furet faced the problem
data. The re
of incomplete
Finally,
were
to
not
how
books
do
indicate
many
quests
print
copies
or
the
number
of
and
social
volumes,
dates, places,
printed
groups
in sales. Except
in the case of privilege
involved
renewals,
they
the same numerical
value as failures?the
value of
give best-sellers
one.
a
not even indicate whether
in an
They do
request resulted
course
actual publication.
And of
about the con
they tell nothing
nection between buying and reading books.
a broad sta
To compensate
for these deficiencies,
Furet made
lam
tistical
1723 and 1789.
of the 30,000 titles registered between
was
six
of
from
the
data
analysis
samplings
thorough
enough
a de
for him to map out some general
trends without
professing
tailed knowledge
of the eighteenth
century's
literary topography.
He reduced his findings
to bar graphs divided
into the
eighteenth
a
The
in
reveal
decline
and
century categories.
graphs
theological
an increase in scientific
is
to
which
Furet's
carry
writing,
enough
main conclusion
about the "d?sacralisation"
of the world. They also
His
220
sweep
Reading, Writing,
and Publishing
in
culture
that the traditional,
classical
Mornet's
belief
from the seventeenth
the
century outweighed
enlightened
are scattered
too
But those elements
elements
of the eighteenth.
to
the
any quantitative
provide
graphs
throughout
haphazardly
profile of the Enlightenment.
reinforce
herited
By quantifying
tried to measure
book
reviews,
Jean Ehrard
and
Jacques Roger
a standard
that
by
to
show
attempted
reading
eighteenth-century
to Furet's data. They
applied
kinds of writing
had most vogue, as indicated by the num
in two
ber of books
reviewed
and the length of the reviews
savants
the
and
the
des
Journal
serious,
"quality" periodicals,
M?moires
de Tr?voux. They
statistics from approxi
their
gathered
as
the same periods
and fit them into the same categories
mately
came up with
Furet did, and
conclusions
they
complementary
about the rise of interest in science
(they locate it earlier in the
the decline
of theology,
and the
eighteenth
century),
"persistance
des formes traditionnelles
de la litt?rature."11 Unfortunately,
they
no similar effort to measure
made
their results against Mornet's.
a careful
Mornet
himself had made
in the Mer
study of reviews
cure and concluded
no relation whatsoever
that
bore
to the
they
real
His
of
novels.12
be
corroborated
popularity
findings might
by
more consultation
of literary evidence,
because
eighteenth-century
the interests of journalists
reflected
rather
journalism
frequently
than those of their readers. The
of
the
Old
journalists
Regime
a world of cabales, com
scratched and clawed
their way
through
bines, and pistons
( to use terms that necessity was obliged to invent
in the
French Republic
of Letters ), and their copy
rough-and-tumble
bore the marks of their
survival.
for
Thus the Journal des
struggle
savants featured medical
articles very heavily
in the
early eigh
teenth
not
of
because
interest
its
century,
any great
among
readers?who
actually ceased buying "ce triste r?pertoire de mala
dies"?but
because
the government
in effect had taken it over and
then surrendered
it to a cabale of doctors, who used it to
propagate
their own views on medicine.13
could
which
not
be
Ehrard
and Roger
tried to cushion
their statistics against
the
a
shock of such incidents
number
reviews?
of
by analyzing
large
reviews of 1,800 books in the case of the Journal des savants. But
it is difficult
to winnow
conclusions
from such data and to co
ordinate
them with other studies. What,
can be made
for example,
of the fact that the Journal des savants, a
scientific
predominantly
its
a
reduced
scientific
almost
third in
periodical,
reviewing
by
221
D
DALUS
in the
Its reviews
late eighteenth
showed a decline
century?
et
belles-let
"sciences
while
the
arts,"
category
category
It would be rash to conclude
that the public
tres" rose
spectacularly.
in
tacites
interest
the
showed pre
lost
science, because
permissions
a
to Fran?ois Furet. Moreover,
trend, according
cisely the opposite
recent
and Maria
study of three other
journals by Jean-Louis
the
whole
results that contradict
both those of Furet and
produced
those of Ehrard and Roger.14 Periodicals
do not seem to be a good
source for
statistics about the tastes of the reading
quarrying
public.
as Mornet
in
The
of
libraries,
private
catalogues
originally
serve
But
better.
dicated, might
they present
quantitative
history
of their own. Few persons
difficulties
read all the books they own,
in the
and many,
read books
century,
they
especially
eighteenth
never
were
over
Libraries
several gen
purchased.
usually built up
Flandrin
tastes at any given time,
erations:
far from representing
reading
were
libraries
archaic.
And
they
automatically
eighteenth-century
were censored
for all illegal books before being put up for auction.
The
censoring may
copies of Voltaire's
have
been
found forty-one
(Mornet
imperfect
Lettres philosophiques),
but it may
to exclude much of the
enough
Enlighten
forbidden
also have been influential
ment from the auction
catalogues.
im
these difficulties, Mornet's work remains the most
Despite
so
its
it
covered
of
kind, because
(five hundred)
many
portant
libraries, and because Mornet was able to trace the social position
of so many of the owners. He found that they came from a variety
of stations above the middle middle-class
(a great many doctors,
as well
as
state
and
and
officials,
lawyers,
clergymen
especially
tastes did not
nobles
and that reading
of the robe and sword)
social status. Louis Trenard
correlate
got similar re
closely with
in Lyons.15
sults from a nonquantitative
libraries
of
investigation
But the most successful
Mornet's
methods
have oc
of
applications
curred in studies of a single social group. Daniel
research
Roche's
on the
was
Mairan
limited
to the
of
de
Dortous
library
actually
a
man. But Roche made
a
case for
of
convincing
reading
single
as a second-rank
savant of the
Mairans
typicality
mid-eighteenth
so his results suggest
of reading
the general
character
century;
on
habits in the influential milieu
of lesser academicians.
Drawing
the research of R?gine Petit, Fran?ois Bluche
studied the libraries
of thirty members
of the Parlement
of Paris, which were catalogued
1734 and 1795. He worked
into a convincing
between
his findings
as
over time.
it evolved
of parlementary
culture, but not
picture
222
Reading, Writing, and Publishing
taken from 1734-1765 and from 1766
of catalogues
comparison
a
not
interest in law and an increased
1780 does
reveal
declining
sciences
et arts, as he maintained,
be
interest in belles-lettres
and
more
cause the statistical
are trivial?not
than 1 per
differences
His
cent.
conclusions
Bluche's
Nonetheless,
quite
closely
correspond
those of Jean Meyer, who studied the libraries of twenty mem
bers of the Parlement
of Brittany. Meyer
based his statistics on
inventories
of
(inventaires
property
apr?s d?c?s),
posthumous
as sources.
which usually are more reliable than auction catalogues
He found a preponderance
of "traditional"
literature in contrast to
a small
of enlightened
and he also noted a de
works,
proportion
cline in the incidence of legal and religious works and an increase
in contemporary
literature as the century progressed.
Quantitative
seems
in
to have been instrumental
thus
the cul
history
defining
with
ture of the
high nobility of the robe.
But has it succeeded
in measuring
the reading habits of France
as a whole? There
is hope for success in the
char
complementary
one is weak,
is strong.
acter of the
Where
another
monographs.
to every
Furet surveyed
terrain but gave equal
the whole
weight
title and did not get near the eighteenth-century
reader; Ehrard
seems
and Roger got nearer, but their measure
of reading incidence
into
Bluche
entered
and
Roche,
faulty; Mornet,
right
eighteenth
libraries, but only the sections of those libraries that reached
covered the exposed portions of
public auctions. If each monograph
the entire topic may be considered
another,
safely under wraps.
or mutually
Are the results mutually
The
reinforcing
contradictory?
to be put
issue seems
(see
page
important
enough
graphically
224 ).16
can be extracted
No consistent pattern, unfortunately,
from this
can be ex
mosaic
Some
inconsistencies
of
of
the
confusing
graphs.
shows strongly on the graphs of the
away: law naturally
plained
on
science
Dortous
de Mairan's graph, and theology
parlementaires,
as
to the permissions
the
among
permissions
publiques
opposed
tacites. But standard
like
and sci
belles-lettres,
history,
categories
ence vary
are
and
the
different.
enormously;
proportions
By
wildly
as a
as part of
imagining each bar graph
girl and each black stripe
her two-piece
suit, one can see what a misshapen,
bathing
motley
we must live with.
crowd of monographs
is some relief from this bikini effect in
There
how
considering
over time.
the monographs
their
all
agree
proportions
spread
They
as to make
that the French
read a great deal of history?so
much
century
223
:.t:
Se
O? O)
00 -J
s
o
-I
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.- >
I?
3 </>
O O)
-DT3
I 5x
??-J
5 tu
_i
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(? 0>
*
T?
O </>
II
Q_ Q.
c
O
O)
or
8
8
o
GO
g
O
to
o
If)
o
sr
8
S
O
TOO W ""
|s||
5
0) 3 ?
<x>
Reading, Writing,
and Publishing
the already discredited myth about an "ahistorical" eight
untenable
amount of it throughout
the
read a consistent
eenth century?and
indicate
that
the
read
less
The
French
also
century.
monographs
in
literature as time went on. Scientific
religious
reading probably
constant.
in
it
And,
creased, although
may have remained
general,
as Furet
some "d?sacralisation,"
hold
the
of
took
it,
put
reading
an acceleration
of
represent
public. This tendency, however, might
a
in the Middle
trend that had begun
Ages; acknowl
secularizing
not
to refine any generalizations
it
does
about the Age
edging
help
can be ex
and no other generalizations
of the Enlightenment,
tracted
from the quantitative
it is impossible
Perhaps
studies.
to generalize
about the over-all literary
France because
culture of eighteenth-century
there might not have
like 9,600,000
been any such thing. In a country where
something
instruction
the
to
their
1780's
names,17
by
sign
people had enough
there could have been
In
that
case,
several
quantitative
reading publics
historians
would
and to concentrate
and several
cultures.
to avoid
better
instead on studies of
do
of reading
macroanalysis
of Bluche and Meyer. When
specific groups like the parlementaires
in conjunction with other kinds of evidence
used carefully,
and in
to
of
the
this
of
reference
kind
segments
clearly-defined
population,
a valuable
to
it
has
be
tool.
But
has
not
quantitative
history
proved
answers
to the broad questions
raised by Mornet,
and
provided
there is no reason to expect that those answers will emerge from the
continued
of monographs.
multiplication
as
was
more statistical studies
this
essay
Just
going to press, two
were
of eighteenth-century
contain an
They
reading
published.18
are as rich in mutual
con
other whole
series of bar graphs, which
in trying to fit them all
tradictions as the earlier series. The problem
is
into one coherent picture
of the Old Regime's
literary culture
cover
some
that they
different
refer to the reading
ranges of data:
habits of particular milieux,
others to reading throughout France as
sources. The contradictions
are more
revealed by different
serious
in the second kind, but all of the
suffer from deficient
monographs
will not disappear
if more official records
data; and the deficiencies
are
and more periodicals
to
The run of
subjected
quantification.
could
be
But
it all lead?
extended
where
will
graphs
indefinitely.
to Mornet. No later research has done much either to
back
Perhaps
or refine his
on the mountainous
discredit
tra
emphasis
deposits of
in contrast to the few rivulets of
ditional culture
in
the
modernity
literary habits
of the eighteenth
century.
225
DAEDALUS
But even Mornet's
calls for further proof, because
interpretation
or his successors was likely to
none of the sources examined
him
by
contain the most modern works, and none of the categories used for
the En
commensurate
with
the examining
could be considered
"inertia" against "innova
The problem
of measuring
lightenment.
comes down to a
tion" in reading during the Old Regime
always
of data: to sift statistics
sources,
through administrative
problem
or censored
to eliminate
is
censored
library catalogues
journals,
the quantitative
historians
No wonder
of the Enlightenment.
so much of the pres
of the past so heavy, when
found the weight
ent was excluded
It may be cruel to conclude
from their balance.
has not advanced us far beyond
that all this laborious quantification
but the fact remains that we still do not know much about
Mornet,
much
what
eighteenth-century
read.
Frenchmen
Ill
a coherent
of literature has failed to develop
sociology
to quantification
has
of its own, and if its commitment
discipline
answers to the basic
and
not yet
about
reading
questions
produced
and quantifiers have
in the past, nonetheless
the sociologists
writing
lit
the Old Regime's
of interpreting
the importance
demonstrated
a
terms.
more
have
in
Books
than
culture
erary
literary
merely
value. All the aspects of their existence
social life and an economic
and even political?came
social, economic,
together with
?literary,
of
the
force in the publishing
the greatest
industry
eighteenth
if
of literature,
(or the sociology
century. So sociocultural
history
the term must be retained) might gain a great deal from the study
To suggest some of the possible gains, it seems best to
of publishing.
in the papers
and other related
of publishers
draw on material
what Frenchmen
sources
in order to
three hypotheses:
develop
in part by the way in which
their books were
read was determined
were
two
kinds of book
there
and
distributed;
basically
produced
in the
distribution
and
century,
legal and
eighteenth
production
were
two
to
the
crucial
the
differences
between
and
clandestine;
If the
and politics of the Old Regime.1^
a
of documents
differences
emerge clearly by
comparison
of clandestine
in official archives
and those in the papers
pub
for example, filled the Direction
of Lyons,
lishers. The bookdealers
to
about their devotion
letters and memoranda
de la librairie with
the culture
The
the
226
law,20 while
addressing
the
foreign
publishers
who
supplied
Reading, Writing, and Publishing
in terms like the following
(A. J. Revol, a
illegal books
the Soci?t?
not
did
he
that
is
dealer,
overcharge
arguing
Lyonnais
:
services
his
for
de Neuch?tel
)
smuggling
typographique
them with
avons
Nous
de
en
Libert?,
cachet.
et
sant?,
vie,
libert?,
argent
nous
sans nos amis,
aurions
expos?
ce que
et
fermes
avoir
les
balles qu'ils nous avaient
votre
maison
Sant?,
qui
combien
auraient
saisies
?t?
nuits
de
sur
les
?
la main,
sans
vous,
pour
pass?,
somme
quelle
? nous
n'avons-nous
pas
les
restituer
expos?s
ressource.)
? toutes
travers? les rivi?res d?bord?es
glaces.
Argent,
lettre
?
il y en avait douze
(? cette ?poque
perdues
avons-nous
sur la neige,
p?ries des saisons,
fois
armes
les
forc?s,
par
fois aux prises avec les employ?s
?t? en diff?rentes
Vie, en ce qu'ayant
des
r?putation.
?t? enferm?
donn?e
en
les
diff?rentes
tant pour faciliter l'exportation que pour ?viter les poursuites
intem
et quelque
fois,
et calmer les
esprits.
R?putation,
en
ce
que
nous
avions
acquis
celle
de
contrebandiers.21
of men
the underground
like these operated
system
and pirated works,
readers with prohibited
for supplying French
tacites. They were
the kind that could never qualify for permissions
the obscure mule
these literary buccaneers:
colorful
characters,
drivers who hauled crates of books over tortuous trails in the Juras
on both
and a stiff drink; the merchants
for 12 livres the quintal
sides of the border who paid off the drivers and cleared paths into
for them by bribing agents of the General Tax Farm;22 the
France
in
who took the crates to stockpiles
clearing
waggoners
provincial
the pro
du Cheval Rouge outside Lyons;
like the Auberge
houses
their local
the crates
cleared
who
bookdealers
vincial
through
a
in
and
RevoTs
5
livres
case)
(at
relayed them to
quintal
guilds
La Noue
Mme.
like
the
outside
Paris;
entrep?t keepers
entrepots
to
all the world a garrulous, warmhearted
of Versailles?to
widow,
Hundreds
her
customers
a
shrewd
businesswoman,
me
"passablement
flatte que
arabe"23
Ion sait me randre
cest sorte de mar
and full of professional
("je
pride
que
je prand pour
justice par les precaution
the
to a client in her semiliterate
she wrote
hand);
chandises,"24
sans
et
sans
moeurs
et femme,
"bandits
like Cugnet
colporters
the
were
in the trade, who
as
known
smuggled
they
pudeur"25
distributors
Parisian
to Paris; and deviate
books
from Versailles
the
with
et fils, who were well
like Desauges
acquainted
p?re
avec
le
"l'?tre
but
la
"bien
and
Bastille,26
Poin?ot,
plus
police"27
one of
to J. F. Bornand,
acari?tre que je connaisse,"28
according
secret agents in Paris who did odd jobs for the
the many
literary
227
D
DALUS
and completed
the circuit by supplying
them
foreign publishers
with manuscripts
and best sellers to pirate.2^ An enormous number
of
these slippery
hands,
greasing
illegal books passed
through
as
to
went.
in relation
Their
palms
importance
they
legal and
im
until the clandestine
literature cannot be calculated
quasilegal
are
But one nonquantitative
conclusion
port records
compiled.
seems
outset:
at
the
and legal
significant
underground
publishing
in
the
and
circuits,
separate
operated
publishing
underground
was a
a
affair, involving
operation
large labor force
complicated
drawn
Far from having
from particular
been
milieux.
lost in
the
the unrecorded
individuals
who
of
processed
history,
depths
books can be found and situated
clandestine
socially. They had
names and faces, which
show up vividly in the papers of eighteenth
century publishers. And their experience
suggests that underground
was a world of its own.
publishing
How different was the world of legal
The thirty-six
publishing.
or so master booksellers
master printers and one hundred
of Paris
in pomp
their beadle,
behind
circumstance,
parading
in velvet trimmed with
on
ceremonial
splendidly
gold lilies,
masses
statue of
solemn
before
silver
the
occasions;
celebrating
in the Church
Saint John the Evangelist,
their patron,
of the
con
at
held
their
the
Mathurins;
sumptuous
by
banquets
feasting
a matter
new members
into
of
their
guild,
fraternity;
initiating
in
the
and
ritualistic oaths and examinations;
Tuesday
participating
to the guild
of legally imported books delivered
Friday
inspections
hall by "forts" from the customs and city gates; and minding
their
own businesses.
As businessmen,
closed
Elaborate
they kept
shops.
least 3,000 edicts and ordonnances
of all kinds in
regulations?at
and
the
the eighteenth
century
qualifications
alone30?specified
lived
and
dressed
the number
limited
down
connected
with
legal publishing,
up the official
ragged
colporters
in the streets
of hawking
almanacs
and proclamations
in their corps. Cor
to prove membership
leather badges
connections
tied down
and family
every
monopoly,
to the
monopoly
and wore
of everyone
120
who
divided
porateness,
corner of the trade. In fact the
cornering of the market dated from
a
had settled a trade
crisis.
In
1666 Colbert
seventeenth-century
war between
and provincial
the Parisian
by, in effect,
publishers
the con
the
under
and
industry
printing
placing
ruining provincial
et libraires de Paris. By
des imprimeurs
trol of the Communaut?
a few families of master
dom
printer-booksellers
ruling this guild,
the
inated legal French publishing
century.
throughout
eighteenth
228
Reading, Writing,
and Publishing
on
guild spirit shows clearly through the major edicts
pub
in
edict
issued
and
1777.
of
The
1686, 1723, 1744,
1723,
lishing
which
laid down the law throughout most of the eighteenth
century,
an attitude
or
communicates
that might be called "mercantilistic"
of the trade produced
"Colbertist," for it codified the reorganization
in the 1660's
"avidit?
Colbert
himself.
by
capitalistic
Condemning
stan
du gain,"31 it stressed the importance
of maintaining
quality
in great detail. The
it defined
T's
of
three
dards, which
type-face
as one "m," and the "m" must
must be
same
in
the
width
exactly
to a model
conform precisely
"m"
with
the syndics and
deposited
were
to
the
who
of
the
deputies
inspect
thirty-six printing
guild,
once every three months
in order to make sure that each con
shops
tained the requisite minimum
of four presses and nine sets of type,
roman
in
both
Strict requirements
and italic,
regu
good condition.
lated the advancement
to masterships,
which were
of apprentices
in number
to become
limited
and tended
family possessions?for
at every
the
favored
of
edict
sons, and son-in-laws
widows,
point
an
the established masters. These
few
enjoyed
air-tight
privileged
of book production
and marketing.
members
monopoly
Non-guild
a 500 livres fine and
could not even sell old paper without
facing
was
The
and
"punition exemplaire."32
elaborately
guild
organized
favored with
et
immunit?s,
"droits, franchises,
priv
pr?rogatives
its trade, but as a corps
il?ges."33 Not only did it monopolize
it benefited
within
tax
the university
from special
exemptions.
a formal
Books themselves were tax-exempt.
Each contained
"priv
or
il?ge"
"permission,"
granted by the king's "gr?ce" and registered
in the
and in the guild's Chambre
chancellery
syndicale.
By pur
a
a
an exclusive
to
chasing
privilege,
guild member
acquired
right
a
a kind of com
sell a book,
into
thereby
transforming
"gr?ce"
which
he could divide
into portions
and sell to other
modity,
So monopoly
members.
and privilege
existed at three levels in the
the book itself, within
the guild, and as
industry: within
publishing
an
aspect of the guild's own special status within the Old Regime.
This third level deserves
the guild's special
because
emphasis,
a
as
an
as
involved
well
economic
function. The
position
policing
state had not often shown an
its attempts
in
attitude
enlightened
to
the
word
before
when
became
Malesherbes
1750,
police
printed
Directeur
de la librairie. In 1535 it
to the
that
responded
discovery
books could be seditious by
to
who
deciding
hang anyone
printed
them. In 1521 it had tried to tame the new
it
industry by subjecting
to the surveillance
of a medieval
in
the
1618,
university. And
body,
The
229
D
DALUS
it tried
again,
rather
to
attempted
another
this time by
archaic kind
bring books
first within
within
confining publishers
In addition,
of organization.
under
control by developing
the guild,
the state
its own
lieu
the chancellery
and the Parisian
h
li
the
Direction
de
later
under
police,
tenance-g?n?rale
own
in
its
brairie?and
rival
the
by holding
against
book-inspectors
Parlement
of Paris, the General Assembly
of the Clergy,
and other
influential
institutions.
This
did not
bureaucratic
entanglement
choke the power of the guild; on the contrary, the guild continued
to hunt out "mauvais
livres" until the Revolution.
The edicts of
to search for illegal
1723 and 1777 reaffirmed its authority
printing
to Paris. This policy made
and to inspect books
perfect
shipped
sense: the state created a
interest in law
with a vested
monopoly
apparatus?at
de
and
enforcement,
the monopolists
their
maintained
interest
by
members
crushing
competition.
extra-legal
Although
guild
most of them wanted
to stamp
in underground
dabbled
publishing,
it out. It robbed and undersold
to
the guild existed
them, while
secure
meant
their
protect
privileges.
Well-protected
privileges
attractive
than the risky business
of
looked more
profits, which
to a
since
them
especially
exposed
illegal publishing,
illegality
infraction
and then
for the particular
double danger: punishment
A
of
from
the
circle
magic
printer-book
monopolists.
expulsion
to his family. He could not risk it
seller's mastership
really belonged
on a prayer book and to collect
lightly. Better to buy the privilege
a certain but limited
on a clandestine
to wager everything
than
profit
econ
suited a "traditional"
Such an attitude
edition of Voltaire.
as
even
out
of
adventurers
trade
merchant
where
omy,
dropped
soon as
at
in rentes?or
to
invest
borrowed
had
made
they
enough
5 per cent to buy land that yielded
1-2 per cent of its purchase
price in annual profits.34
to underestimate
the economic
It would be a mistake,
therefore,
on
in
P.
element
the Old Regime's
J. Blondel,
publishing.
legislation
an old-fashioned
abb? who had no love for philosophes,
fulminated
even
it
the restrictions
against the edict of 1723,
tightened
though
on
economic
he saw it as a purely
because
works,
philosophic
an extension
the
measure:
of the
Actually,
guild's monopoly.35
each
edict
economic
of
the
and
aspects
complemented
political
the guild seemed to serve the interests of the
other. Strengthening
state as well as those of the privileged
But the reform
publishers.
some
movement
lishing
230
modified
code
the state's view
of 1777, promulgated
of its interests, and the pub
soon after
attacks on
Turgot's
Reading, Writing,
and Publishing
a shift away from the
the six great commercial
guilds of Paris, shows
"avidit? du gain," the
Instead
of condemning
"Colbertism."
now
any intention of favoring "monopole," praised
repudiated
king
and relaxed the rules governing
the effects of "concurrence,"
priv
not
in
to
He
did
commerce."36
l'activit?
du
order
ileges
"augmenter
in fact he confirmed
its character
the notion of privilege;
undercut
en
as a kind of property,
as a
justice"37 rather than
"gr?ce fond?e
it in favor of authors and at the expense
of the
but he modified
The guild had tried to prevent
such a blow long be
bookdealers.
its case. The
fore it actually struck by getting an author to present
sur
commerce
la
Lettre
le
de
Diderot's
librairie, reiterated
result,
the old arguments
about maintaining
pro
by restricting
quality
own liberal
to Diderot's
in contradiction
and
ductivity
principles
sur
had partly inspired
la librairie, which
M?moires
Malesherbes'
Lettre as the
Diderot's
the reform project. Apparently
dismissing
liberal successors,
work of a hired hack, Malesherbes'
especially
the edicts of
de Neville,
Sartine and Le Camus
through
pushed
on the
1777 and so somewhat
the guild's
loosened
stranglehold
old
industry.38
publishing
But the controversial
item in the code of 1777 concerned
the
of guild members
and authors: privilege was now clearly
to the author and his heirs
derived
from authorship
and belonged
or
his
after
if
he had ceded it to a book
death,
perpetually
expired
at
dealer and the dealer had had it for
least ten years. This pro
relations
vision
into the public domain
and provoked
brought many works
but it did not really under
complaints by the guild members,
to police
their monopoly.39
The code reinforced
their power
terms that
the book trade and repeated
in the strongest
possible
no one outside
in
So the
the guild
could
engage
publishing.
to
in
of
dominate
continued
their
dynasties
printer-booksellers
until
the
The
Revolution.
of
them,
greatest
dustry
Charles-Joseph
as a sort of combination
Panckoucke,
press baron and
operated
minister
of culture:
"sa voiture
le portait chez les ministres
du roi,
comme un fonctionnaire
? Versailles,
le
recevaient
ayant un
qui
bitter
mine
portefeuille."40
There had never
been any question
of creating a free trade in
as
the
had
the six great
abolished
by abolishing
Turgot
guild
arose
it
economic
issue
The
took
another
from the
form;
jurandes.
ancient enmity between
Parisian
and provincial
bookdealers.
Pro
had not recovered
since the trade war of the
vincial
printing
seventeenth
in
survived
booksellers
century, but provincial
large
books
231
D
DALUS
the eighteenth
century, and they drew much
throughout
in page
stock (often in the form of exchanges, measured
from
outside France, where
hundreds
of enterprising
gatherings)
turned out cheap pirated
editions
of French works. The
printers
a boom
state
in this illicit trade in the
produced
inadvertently
1770's by levying a tax on paper, a much more costly item in the
printers than it is today.
budget of eighteenth-century
Printer's papier blanc had been taxed from time to time, no
a ruinous rate and not much,
if
tably in 1680 and 1748, but not at
at all, outside Paris?until
when
abb?
March
the
1, 1771,
Terray,
to cut the deficit
accumulated
the
trying desperately
during
Seven Years' War,
taxed it 20 sous per ream. In August
1771 he
increased
that rate by 10 sous as a result of the across-the-board
tax of 2 sous per livre. Since exports of French paper went duty
an enor
allies gained
and their provincial
free, foreign printers
mous
A ream of
cost 11
advantage.
good white papier d'Auvergne
to one esti
livres in Paris and 8 livres in Switzerland,
according
mate.41 To right the balance, Terray placed a duty of 60 livres per
on
and Latin books on September
11,
imports of French
quintal
the exchange
trade between
massacred
1771. But this measure
numbers
of their
dealers
and foreigners.
de
like the Soci?t? typographique
by panic, publishers
cast
France
to
and
about
des
all
shipments
suspended
their tough
the tariff barrier while
for ways
of cracking
perately
men
in the
customers
Marie
and
like
Jean
Bruysset
provinces,
P?risse Duluc
for the repeal of the duty.42 The
of Lyons, agitated
on November
to 20
24, 1771, the tax was reduced
agitation paid:
on
on
to
went
it
10
6
livres
and
down
October
sols;
livres;
17, 1773,
provincial
Seized
Neuch?tel
it altogether.
But this reversal of
in
favor of the foreign
balance
policy again tipped the economic
to
An
memorandum
the
ministry
reported:
publishers.
unsigned
"C'est depuis ce moment
que les Suisses, ayant senti qu'ils pouvaient
march?
donner nos livres ? 50% meilleur
que nous, ont pill? et
nos livres a trois
notre
et en effet ils donnent
librairie,
ravag?
la feuille, et comme aux frais de l'imp?t
liards ou un sol de France
sur le
et du tirage en France,
papier, du haut prix de l'impression
on ne
souvent pas
il faut joindre l'achat des manuscrits,
peut
en vendant
cette m?me
trouver de b?n?fice
feuille deux ou trois
April
23, 1775, Turgot
sols." As
an
example,
m?thodique
cyclop?die
for Panckoucke
merely
232
withdrew
the writer
said that Panckoucke's
would
have to sell at 11 livres
to cover production
costs, while
new En
a volume
a
pirated
Reading, Writing,
and Publishing
a
Swiss edition could sell in Paris at 6 livres a volume and produce
40-50 per cent profit.43
Until mid-1783
the business of foreign publishers
and provincial
seems to have flourished
at the expense
dealers
of their Parisian
the foreign minister,
rivals, but on June 12, 1783, Vergennes,
a stroke of the pen. He issued orders to the General
it
with
destroyed
Tax Farm requiring that all book imports?garnished
with the usual
to the
? caution?be
transmitted
seals, lead stamps, and acquits
Chambre
syndicale of the Parisian guild for inspection before being
to their final destination.
delivered
Without
further
tampering
with
the taxation system or passing
channels
formal,
through
legal
at once restored
like the earlier edicts,
this measure
the guild's
that a crate of books sent
domination
of the book trade. It meant
now had to pass
to
from Geneva
Lyons
through the hands of the
an
in
to
officials
the
Parisians
which
Paris,
gave
guild
opportunity
weed out pirated editions and saddled the Lyonnais with a detour
cost more
that would
than the books were worth. Even
the extra
a
to
Rouen
Paris
and back would
ruin his business,
trip from
Rouennais
in Lille
wrote.44
Booksellers
that
desperate
reported
no choice but to let
rot
had
in
and
their
imports pile up
they
damp
customs house.45 The Lyonnais
claimed
that they had suspended
a
were
all book imports?a
matter
in
of 2,000 quintals
year?and
of suspending
dealers flooded
And while
from pro
protests
payments.46
de la librairie, frantic letters
the Direction
flew around the circuit of publishers
who fed the provincials
from
across France's borders. Boubers
of Brussels, Gosse of The Hague,
Dufour
of Maestricht,
of Lausanne,
Grasset
of Ge
Bassompierre
and
dozens
of
all
trembled
lives.
for
their
commercial
neva,
others,
sent out an agent, J.-F.
The Soci?t? typographique
de Neuch?tel
to inspect the
Bornand,
damage done to its supply lines. Bornand
that
the
arr?t" had stopped all book traffic
"malheureux
reported
in Savoy and Franche-Comt?.
A side trip to Grenoble
showed him
au
route was
that the southern
"h?riss?e de gardes,
point qu'au
on m'a saisi tous mes livres dans ma malle
bureau de Chaparillan
... en nous faisant voir l'ordre du roi
ne laisser
qui leur enjoint de
aucune
in Lyons
librairie
The
bookdealers
passer
quelconque."47
told Bornand
stories
such gloomy
that he concluded,
"Il faut
renoncer ? la France."48
was be
that
believed
Panckoucke
They
hind
the crackdown,
he wanted
to destroy
because
his Swiss
&
Heubach
of
whose
Lausanne,
Cie,
competitors,
pirating
notably
into the sales of his edition of Buffon's Histoire
had cut deeply
danger
vincial
233
DAEDALUS
and
Bornand
the same rumor from Besan?on;
reported
in Paris,
he arrived
the booksellers
their "air de
turned
on him with full force. One threatened
to cause him "tout
m?pris"
un
et
entre
le mal possible,
c'est
form?
les libraires de
pacte
et m?me
contre ceux de pro
Paris contre
les libraires ?trangers
to
vince."49 By mid-1785,
the Neuch?telois
still found it impossible
naturelle.
when
trade center of Avignon,50
get their books to the great clandestine
to
Paris through
and they abandoned
reach
attempts
smugglers
in Geneva,
stationed
and
Ch?lons-sur-Sa?ne,
Besan?on,
Dijon,
cut to a
in France
Their
Clairvaux.
business
had
been
booming
as
to a Parisian
trickle. It never recovered, because,
they explained
se
servent
de
voie
les autres
"Nous
confidant,
ignorons
quelle
ne
nous
et
de
Lausanne
de
connaissons
Berne;
d'ici,
imprimeurs
. . .
sous
point d'autre que d'exp?dier
acquit ? caution pour Paris
ne
nous
nous
est interdite, parce que
voulons pas
Toute autre voie
et ? l'amende."51
courir des risques, ni nous exposer ? la confiscation
had cut the
Vergennes
vincial distributors.
lifeline
linking
foreign
producers
and pro
to the
orders would
protests, Vergennes'
According
provincial
in books. By making
the
decimate
trade
imports im
legal foreign
new rules would
an inevitable
de
the
produce
possibly
expensive,
since the import-export
business was us
cline in exports, especially
rather
in exchanges
of so many
page-gatherings
ually conducted
The state saw the orders as a new policing
tech
than in money.
at
and
books?
the
destruction
of
aimed
pirated
nique,
prohibited
Both views may
the bread and butter of underground
publishing.
suffered the
trade probably
have been correct, but the clandestine
of
most. The
Parisians
had
forced the
the
practices
monopolistic
to
alli
formed
There
seek shelter underground.
they
provincials
ances with
sent
them illegal works under
who
foreign publishers,
cover of an acquit ? caution, a customs permit that
book
protected
their
the
from
between
border
and
all
points
inspection
shipments
were
to be examined by
of destination
within France, where
they
He would
the nearest official bookdealer.
certify their legitimacy by
the back of the acquit and returning
it, by the driver who
endorsing
it had been
station where
had delivered
the books, to the border
could either
with an illegal publisher
issued. A dealer collaborating
or he
of impounding
market
the books himself
them),
(instead
Since
could relay them on toward Paris and collect a commission.
domestic book shipments were never inspected en route, they could
in Versailles,
risk
without
reach an entrep?t outside Paris, usually
234
Reading, Writing,
and
then
be smuggled
worked
system
quite well
the
acquits ? caution.
discharge
The
could
and Publishing
in small
into the capitol.
quantities
as
as
dealers could
provincial
long
in the
But by
that function
placing
the whole
of the Parisian guild, Vergennes
undercut
opera
tion. Of course there were other ways of reaching the market, but
cus
it was no easy task to thread one's way
through the internal
toms barriers and to
of
the
the
General
inspectors
roaming
dodge
a reward and a
of the goods after
received
Farm, who
portion
What
and
clandestine
the drivers
every confiscation.
agents wanted
so
was
rum
they could send whole wagonloads
legal camouflage
to
of France's
splendid highways
bling down the middle
provincial
to the very
of
the
The
and
clandestine
trade
palace
guildhalls
king.
was a matter
Too chancy,
of calculating
risks and profit margins.
a
not pay. So when
too elaborate
would
system of smuggling
the
the
the
rules
of
game,
Vergennes
changed
foreign
suppliers
If the papers of the Soci?t?
and provincial
faced disaster.
dealers
to the
de Neuch?tel
the general
reaction
indicate
typographique
into a
order of June 12, 1783, the whole underground
fell
industry
at least two years and
1789.52
for
until
that
lasted
depression
perhaps
was concerned,
As far as foreign
the French
govern
publishing
ment had
to a
itself
committed
finally
policy of laissez faire but
not laissez passer.
hands
con
the
book
Curiously,
graphs of legal French
production
a
and Fran?ois Furet also show
structed by Robert Estivals
spec
tacular drop in 1783, the low point of a
slump extending
roughly
is difficult to say. It
this slump occurred
from 1774 to 1786.53 Why
eco
does not seem to be related to Labrousse's
prerevolutionary
nomic crisis or the Labrousse-like
that
Estivals
somehow
"cycles"
sees in his statistics. Could
it be connected with Vergennes'
orders
of June 12, 1783? The purpose of the orders stands out clearly in the
text: to put an end to "la multitude
de libelles
imprim?s dans
et introduits dans le
from
Even
the
petitions
royaume."54
l'?tranger
the provincial
"le
bookdealers
that
motif
de
l'ordre
acknowledged
est
des
libelles
de
l'introduction
d'emp?cher
qui viennent
a
at
And
with
his
glance
l'?tranger."55
Vergennes'
correspondence
shows how much
the libelles concerned
ambassadors
him. In 1782
and 1783 he wrote as many letters to England
about the need to sup
as he did
"libellistes"
press a smut factory run by ?migr? French
to the Treaty of Paris. He sent
about the diplomatic
preliminaries
secret agent after secret agent ( a bizarre collection
of bogus barons
as an umbrella
and one police inspector
salesman
) to buy
disguised
235
DAEDALUS
rococo
of their fantastic,
the libellistes. No details
kidnap
were too trivial for
he
feared the
for
attention,
intrigues
Vergennes'
on
the
in France. Well
before
effect of the libelles
public opinion
the French charg? d'affaires
Diamond
Necklace
Affair, he exhorted
connaissez
to stamp out
la malignit?
"Vous
political pornography:
de notre si?cle et avec quelle facilit? les fables les plus absurdes sont
re?ues."56 The orders of June 12, 1783, must have been part of this
and they must have been fairly successful,
campaign,
judging from
off or
in the world of
pub
underground
they produced
of
works like Les amours de Chariot
and
the
collection
large
lishing
sur la vie de Marie-Antoinette
et Toinette
and Essais historiques
in the Bastille
after
inventoried
that the revolutionaries
gleefully
1789.57
is no reason to connect the campaign
There
against libelles with
it seems possible
the drop in legal book production.
Nonetheless,
was so determined
to shut off the flow of libelles
that Vergennes
that he dammed up the channels of legitimate
from outside France
in the
too. His action could have created
repercussions
imports,
ar
as the
dealers
of
provincial
exactly
legal system
publishing,
even the most honest
It
book
have
forced
would
provincial
gued.
it would
their ex
increased
to retrench,
have
sellers
because
the consternation
also
trade. It would
their exchange
and destroyed
penses drastically
business
their roles as middlemen
have eliminated
(an important
in Lyons ) in commerce between
northern and southern Europe. As
from the provincials'
the Parisians might
have profited
always,
losses. But provincial
dealers drew some of the stock that they used
offer also could have
from Paris. So Vergennes'
for foreign exchanges
It
reduced book
market.
of
Parisians'
the
certainly
part
damaged
on a national
to
the
scale
crucial
and, owing
importance
imports
a
in the book trade,
of exchanges
correspond
probably
produced
therefore
in exports. Over-all
book production
French
ing drop
it
have suffered, just as it suffered from the buffeting
would
given
since 1771 by the succession of taxes and tariffs. If these hypotheses
are correct,
and legal publishing
that underground
they suggest
were not so separate and so inimical
that they could not be in
a common blow. A certain symbiosis might have attached
jured by
on
of the two circuits. Each circuit relied heavily
injec
segments
tions of foreign books, and that foreign element must be measured
of ideas
about the circulation
if there is to be more exact knowledge
seems
it
At this prestatistical
in the Old Regime.
stage, however,
as
a
one
result
of
on
far
from
to insist
flourishing
point:
legitimate
236
Reading, Writing, and Publishing
French pub
of the press, as is usually maintained,
a
eve
a
on
severe
of the Revolution,
the
crisis
lishing underwent
not
it did
crisis that has not been noticed by historians,
because
like the edicts on the book
itself in formal documents,
manifest
virtual
freedom
trade.58
crisis
The publishing
cause its economic
that
reveals
and
aspects
legal and clandestine
ing business. Faithful
seems
intellectual
especially
aspects
of notice, be
worthy
were
related in a way
crisis. Economically,
the prerevolutionary
stood for antithetical
publishing
to the old "Colbertist" methods,
of
ways of do
the Parisian
a limited num
et imprimeurs produced
to official
It turned
ber of quality goods according
specifications.
a
it
out traditional books for
controlled
traditional market, which
ran no risks, because
an official
it owed
virtue
It
of
by
monopoly.
its
to its privileges;
and its privileges were family treasures,
profits
to widow.
Fur
down
handed
from father to son and husband
a
in
its
share
the
the
fortified
thermore,
repres
by
monopoly
guild
as in so many other cases, the
sive power of the state. In publishing,
the juridical privi
Old Regime was eaten away by privilege?not
of vested
from
nobles
but
the
commoners,
leges dividing
privilege
cancer.
a
which
state
In
the
like
its
last
devoured
interests,
years,
the government
tried to rally and reform. But its efforts reactivated
Communaut?
des
libraires
the century-old
and Parisian bookdeal
conflict between
provincial
order
ers, and the book duties of 1771-1775 followed by Vergennes'
of June 12, 1783, represented
the final triumph of the Parisian pub
lishing dynasties.
But this triumph was limited by the limitations
of an archaic
the
introduced
the flexibility
system. Despite
production
through
a few
use of
tacites
the
and
adventurous
of
permissions
policies
failed to satisfy the demand
guild members,
privileged
publishing
and
created by an enlarged
literary tastes.
readership
by changing
The reading patterns of the past weighed
in
the
traditional
heavily
as the statistics of Mornet
sector of
demon
and
Furet
publishing,
most
to
traditional
deviate
and
the
of
reluctance
strate;
publishers
from those patterns
is perfectly
understandable.
should
Why
they
their privileges,
risk their special status, and endanger
new literature of uncertain
livelihood by producing
came
the
"Innovation"
Down
there,
legality?
through
underground.
no
were
and books
turned out
constrained
legalities
productivity,
a kind of
by
rampant capitalism. Not only did the state's misguided
new works
it
fiscal
to
make
outside
cheaper
policies
produce
abandon
their
families'
237
DAEDALUS
in
and woolly
business
did a wild
foreign publishers
was
a
ones.
soon
as
As
their agents reported that
book
pirating old
a counterfeit
edi
for
well
in Paris, they began
setting type
selling
hard-core
"mauvais
tion. Some of them also printed
prohibited,
that
who produced
livres." They were tough businessmen
anything
and maximized
sell. They
would
took risks, broke traditions,
prof
than try to
its by quantity
instead of quality production.
Rather
a
corner some
of the market
they
segment
by
legal monopoly,
to be left alone by the state and would even bribe it to do so.
wanted
were entrepreneurs who made a business of
Enlightenment.
They
but
France,
The
enlightened
vidualism,
poratism,
of doing
liberty,
privilege,
business.
of the books
themes
they produced?indi
to cor
the law as opposed
and equality before
their way
restrictions?suited
and "mercantilist"
A Marxist might
of pro
argue that the modes
but
the product?an
duction determined
interpretation,
extravagant
serve as an antidote
one that
to the conventional
history of
might
as cultural
ar
as well
commodities
ideas.59 Books are economic
a
on
as
to
have
be
and
vehicles
of
ideas, they
tifacts;
peddled
France
calls
of
market. The literary marketplace
eighteenth-century
or
for closer analysis, for its books?whether
philosophic,
privileged
or innovative?epitomized
the character of the Old Re
traditional
gime.
IV
as well as a social and eco
the Old Regime was a political
a socioeconomic
of its publishing
interpretation
system,
in fact, were those
factors. What,
to take account of political
ought
to keep out of France?
so
wanted
books that Vergennes
desperately
entitled
were
"livres philoso
in handwritten
listed
catalogues
They
for
delicious
such
and
offered
which
circulated
secretly
phiques,"
bidden fruit as :60
Since
nomic
V?nus
dans
Syst?me
Syst?me
Fausset?
La fille
le clo?tre,
Contrat
social
Journal
3 vol.
historique
8?
M?moires
Margot
238
ou
la
religieuse
en
chemise,
figures
de la nature, 8?, 2 vol. 1775 tr?s belle ?dition
social, 8?, 3 vol. 1775
des miracles
de joie, 8?, figures
par
Jean-Jacques
r?volutions
des
authentiques
la ravaudeuse,
Rousseau
de Mme.
12?,
figures
op?r?es
12?
en
France
par
M.
la comtesse Du Barry, 1775
Maupeou,
and Publishing
Reading, Writing,
Lettres de l'abb? Terray ? M. Tur got
Les
droits
des
same
The
et
hommes
leurs
usurpations
also
publisher
its
name,
advertising
underground
catalogue,
openly
a formal
items
circulated
address,
and
printed
like the
following:61
nouvelle
?dition augment?e,
8o, figures,
B?lisaire, par Marmontel,
Lausanne, 1784: 1 livre.
Bible (la Sainte), 8?, 2 vol., Neuch?tel,
1771: 6 livres.
ou
romans
recueil
des
Biblioth?que anglaise,
anglais, 14 vol., 12?, Gen?ve,
1781: 15 livres.
ses oeuvres
Bonnet
(M. Charles),
compl?tes de physique et d'histoire
1782: 81 livres.
naturelle, 4?, 8 vol., figures, Neuch?tel,
books in the second catalogue may have been legal or pirated,
or the French state. Those
but they did not offend religion, morality,
in the first catalogue
all three and therefore earned the
offended
trade name, which
title "livres philosophiques"?a
very revealing
recurs
in the commercial
of under
constantly
correspondence
The
ground publishers.
was this
Les amours de
How offensive
actually
"philosophy"?
a.
was
on
et
list of
that
work
Chariot
Toinette,
Vergennes'
high
and
of the queen masturbating
libelles, began with a description
on to an account of her
comte
then moved
with
the
supposed orgies
the king as follows:62
d'Artois, dismissing
On sait bien que le pauvre Sire,
ou
quatre
la salubre
Trois
Par
Pour
Ne
De
fois
condamn?
facult?,
tr?s
impuissance
compl?te,
satisfaire
Antoinette.
peut
ce malheur
bien
convaincu,
Attendu
que
son
allumette
N'est
f?tu;
grosse
pas plus
qu'un
et
molle
croche,
Que
toujours
toujours
Il n'a de v . . . que dans
la
poche;
lieu de f . . . il est f . . .
Qu'au
Comme
le feu pr?lat d'Antioche.
for its gross versification.
A sim
stuff, but no less ineffective
to
ilar work, which
defend
the
and
various
queen,
pretended
as well,
courtiers and ministers
the calumnies
by refuting
against
her in minute,
that the libelles circulated
scabrous detail, explained
Crude
through
Un
several
l?che
le minist?re
courtisan
strata of society:63
les
["ces
de la valetaille,
infamies"]
met
les fait passer
en
vers
en
couplets,
et,
par
jusqu'aux halles et aux march?s
239
DAEDALUS
aux
herbes.
Des
chez
halles
les
elles
sont
port?es
les ont
?
l'artisan
seigneurs
qui
rapporte
forg?es,
se demander
? l'Oeil-de-Boeuf
s'en vont
de
temps,
et du
ton de
la
consomm?e:
autres,
l'hypocrisie
plus
et
qui,
?
lesquels,
? l'oreille
Les
son
tour,
les
sans
perdre
aux
les uns
avez-vous
lues?
les voil?. Elles courent dans le peuple de Paris.
some smut from the gutter at any pe
one could
pick up
in the
the gutters overflowed
of
but
Paris,
during the
history
Louis'
worried
chief
of po
inundation
and
the
of
Louis
XVI;
reign
as
"Les
Lenoir
it,
because,
lice, J.-C.-P. Lenoir,
put
parisiens
et
? ajouter foi aux mauvais
avaient plus de propension
propos
im
aux libelles
faits
circuler
faisait
clandestinement,
qu'aux
qu'on
et
du gouvernement."64
par ordre ou permission
prim?s
publi?s
of
Lenoir
later reported that his attempt to suppress the circulation
cour
de la
libelles "furent combattus
par des hommes
qui faisaient
No
doubt
riod
ou
La po
d'?crits
scandaleux.
prot?geaient
l'impression
imprimer
et
lice de Paris ne pouvait atteindre que les marchands
colporteurs
? la
les colporteurs
et d?bitant. On faisait enfermer
les vendant
ne
cette
ce
classe
de
et
mortifiait
de
Bastille,
pas
genre
punition
auteurs
souvent
les
vrais
mercenaires
gens, pauvres
ignoraient
qui
. . .C'est surtout ?
le gou
et imprimeurs
l'?gard des libelles contre
la
ont
vernement
dans
les
les
r?volution,
lois,
que
temps qui
pr?c?d?
The police
took the libelles
furent impuissantes."65
seriously, be
a serious effect on
and public opin
cause
public opinion,
they had
the Old Regime.
of
ion was a powerful
force in the declining
years
it hired
itself
still
considered
the
absolute,
monarchy
Although
a
it
to
Brissot
and
Mirabeau
like
hack pamphleteers
give
good
even
to
for
It
name.66
rumors,
attempted
manipulate
eighteenth
"?motions
"bruits publics"
century
produced
eighteenth-century
in
riot
for
A
broke out
1752,
example, because of
populaires"?riots.
were
to
a rumor that the
children
kidnapping
police
working-class
a literal blood bath for some royal prince of the blood.67
provide
that made
of such "emotions" and opinions
It was the primitiveness
to libelles.
the regime vulnerable
faith in the legit
the public's
How badly the libelles damaged
to say, because
there is no
is difficult
of
Old
the
Regime
imacy
France.
of
to
the
index
Despite
eighteenth-century
public opinion
it
and Lenoir,68
like Vergennes
of expert observers
the testimony
found its dirty books amusing,
that the public
be argued
might
more. Libellistes
had piled up trash for years without
bury
nothing
a cumulative
effect
been
have
could
But
there
also
ing anyone.
a
life pro
Louis' private
Louis
XV.
after
that produced
deluge
240
Reading, Writing, and Publishing
in
for the Vie priv?e de Louis XV, which
vided plenty of material
turn set the tone for a whole
series of Vie priv?es about court fig
ures. These scurrilous works hammered
at the same points with such
some home, at least in the case of
that
drove
they probably
ferocity
a few leitmotivs: Du
success story (from brothel
to
Barry's sexual
a
a
man
to
build
search
for
(his
throne), Maupeou's
despotism
that would hang ten innocent victims at a time ) ; and the
machine
a matter of
of the court (not merely
decadence
luxury and adultery
could
the libelles the high aristocracy
impotence?in
nor make
and
itself
extramarital
love
fight
perpetuated
by
infusions from more virile lower classes).69 Louis XVI, notoriously
his marriage
unable to consummate
for many years, made a perfect
a
in
the last stages of decay. Dozens
of pam
symbol of
monarchy
on Ver
La naissance
du
like
d?voil?e
(another
Dauphin
phlets
dozens of revelations
about the real lineage
list) provided
gennes'
but
also of
neither
of the heir
to the throne. And then the Diamond
Affair
Necklace
an inexhaustible
to
A
of
muck
be
raked.
produced
supply
king
a cardinal: What
cuckolded
better finale to a regime that was
by
even than the rumor of the
finished?better
pan that
warming
a boil in
on
eve
to
1688.
the
of
brought public opinion
England
the importance
It is easy to underestimate
of personal
slander
it is difficult
in
to ap
French
because
politics,
eighteenth-century
at
took place
that politics
court, where
personalities
preciate
was a standard weapon
of
counted more than policies. Defamation
court cabales. And then as now, names made news, although news
did not make
the newspapers.
excluded
from legal pe
Rigorously
in pamphlets,
nouvelles
it circulated
? la main,
and by
riodicals,
nouvellistes
real sources from which political
de bouche?the
jour
in France.
In such crude media, politics was re
nalism originated
a game for
and
ported crudely?as
kings, their courtiers, ministers,
mistresses.
the court and below the summit of salon society,
Beyond
the "general public"
lived on rumors; and the "general
reader"
saw
as a kind of
and
villains
sport, involving
nonparticipant
politics
heroes
but
not
good
as his modern
a crude
struggle between
read his libelles
probably
or comic books, but he
reads magazines
for the villains
and heroes were
real to
issues?except
perhaps
and evil or France and Austria. He
counterpart
laugh them off;
for control of France. Politics was
him; they were fighting
living
folklore. And so, after
La
noires
account
gazette
enjoying
titillating
of venereal
and im
disease,
cuckoldry,
buggery,
illegitimacy,
did
not
241
D
DALUS
in the upper ranks of French
society, he may have
potence
of Mme. Du Barry70
convinced
and outraged by its description
been
passant sans interruption du bordel sur le tr?ne, des bras des laquais dans
ceux du monarque;
le plus puissant et le plus
le ministre
culbutant
redoutable;
insultant
op?rant
le renversement
? la famille
de
la constitution
royale, ? l'h?ritier pr?somptif
de
la monarchie;
du tr?ne et ? son
ses
insolants,
propos
par
incroyable,
ses
les
vaines,
faim,
par
par
profusions
connues
tous
de
les rou?s
l'entouraient;
ramper
voyant
qui
d?pr?dations
non
les
? ses
mais
seulement
les
les ministres,
du
royaume,
grands
pieds
canonisant
du sang, mais
les ambassadeurs
mais
princes
l'Eglise
?trangers,
ses scandales
et ses d?bauches.
compagne,
auguste
? la nation
enti?re
par
mourant
son
luxe
de
social.
than the Contrat
This was more dangerous
propaganda
that bound the public to its rulers.
the sense of decency
to
the ethics of little people
Its disingenuous
moralizing
opposed
the
for all their obscenities,
those of "les grands" on top, because,
a
even
libelles were
Perhaps
propagated
they
strongly moralistic.
came to full fruition
the
Revolu
that
during
"bourgeois morality"
term for it, or for the
tion. "Bourgeois" may not be the proper
Revolution
either, but the "petits" who rose against the "gros" in the
that had de
Puritanism
to a kind of Gaulois
Year II responded
about the plots and purges of the
well before 1789. Gullible
veloped
from their earlier
assimilated
had
Terror,71
legends
gullibly
they
wives before
to
libelles. Thus an aristocratic
kidnap bourgeois
plot
une
femme?
Est-elle
du go?t de
"Avez-vous
the Revolution:
jolie
en
nouveau
de
de quelque
parvenu,
puissance,
petit fat
quelque
vous la
On
talon
propre
rouge, par exemple?
s?questre
quelque
It severed
ment.
Voulez-vous
raisonner?
On
vous
envoie
aux
gal?res."72
Of
one can only speculate
about what went on in the minds of
have been "d?sacralisation,"
such primitive
readers, but it might
it is
this occurrence,
at levels well below the elite. Without
occurring
could have had such an
how the P?re Duchesne
hard to understand
in the royal touch could
to believe
or how
appeal
people brought up
son foutu col
have read about "la t?te de veto femelle
s?par?e de
had
The
in
"?motion
without
de grue"73
king
populaire."
erupting
H?bert's
before
some
touch with the people
of his mystical
lost
long
and her "gros cocu." How
the "louve autrichienne"
about
harangues
no one can say, but works like Les rois de France
great a loss it was,
The ad
the Bourbons
look literally
illegitimate.
r?g?n?r?s made
it appreciated
their power
ministration
feared those works, because
of Louis XVI
to make a mockery
The ridiculing
of the monarchy.
course
242
Reading, Writing, and Publishing
have done a great deal of damage at a time when nobility was
the Salic Law
identified with
"liqueur s?minale"74 and when
a
still required that the royal "race" be transmitted
through
magical
unbroken
chain of males. The magic had gone out of the Bourbons
as the Revolution
by the reign of Louis XVI. Lenoir
reported that
not
to
the
he could
queen by pay
get crowds
applaud
approached
had
cheered
earlier.75 And
them,
ing
they
spontaneously
although
a
in 1789 Desmoulins
described
around
carried
four-year-old
being
on the shoulders
the Palais-Royal
of a street-porter,
crying out,
La Polignac
exil?e ? cent lieues de Paris! Conde
idem! Conti
idem! d'Artois idem! la reine . . . !' je n'ose r?p?ter."76 The libelles
had done their work all too well.
to libeling was easily taken outside
The step from publishing
could
the closed circles of the guild because
publishers
nonguild
the law, and law in the Old Regime meant priv
exist
outside
only
of legality and
law).77 The nuances
private
ilege (leges privatae,
a
broad enough
for many
covered
however,
spectrum,
illegality
to do a pretty
business.
bookdealers
legitimate
underprivileged
contained
several levels. Its agents near the top
The underground
those at the bottom handled
may never have touched libelles, while
must
still
de Neuch?tel
but filth. The Soci?t?
gen
typographique
nothing
the
of Mme. Ric
clean
books
like
works
erally pirated only good,
house
of Samuel Fauche
and his
but the neighboring
coboni,
sons
to sup
that
tried
the
works
very
produced
Vergennes
prodigal
in
Fauche
also
the
and
London.
porno
press
political
printed
TEspion d?valis?, Ma conversion ou le
of Mirabeau:
graphic writings
libertin de qualit?, Erotika Biblion, and Lettres de cachet.78 And yet
in 1765,
when
the last ten volumes
of the Encyclop?die
appeared
"A
the
chez
Samuel
Faulche."
bore
false
Neufchastel
they
imprint
The underground
up, and underground
genres easily got mixed
times forced
dealers often moved
from one level to another. Hard
them into lower reaches
of illegality;
for as they sank deeper
in hopes of greater profits.
into debt, they took greater chances
crisis
The
of the 1780's might have produced
that result.
precisely
some rather inof
have transformed
Ironically, Vergennes
might
fensive pirates into purveyors
of libelles and actually
increased
the
circulation
of "livres philosophiques"
the
by decreasing
relatively
above-the-board
traffic
de Neuch?tel
graphique
libelles after 1783 than
Revolution
approached,
in
Soci?t?
The
contrefa?ons.
typo
seems to have done more
in
business
before
crackdown.79
As the
Vergennes'
dealers
earlier
who
had
provincial
merely
243
D
DALUS
a few false acquits ? caution may have
more
discharged
speculated
on
amours de Chariot et Toinette
of
works
Les
like
and
shipments
more
around
Or
of
"livres
per
passed
philosophiques."
catalogues
tastes
in response
to episodes
like
haps their customers'
changed
the Diamond
at this point to tell
Necklace
Afair. It is impossible
or whether
demand
demand
fairly neatly
what
could
be
habits
could
by
supplied. Reading
a
as
have evolved
result of the peculiar
conditions
determining
or could have been the
factor
them
literary output
determining
the other. Whatever
selves; or each element could have reinforced
combination
of causes was at work,
the Old Regime
put Chariot
whether
supply
was
influenced
followed
et Toinette, V?nus dans le clo?tre, d'Holbach,
in the
and Rousseau
same boxes and
same code-name.
them
under
the
"Liv
shipped
res
to the dealers, "mauvais livres" to the
it
philosophiques"
police,
was their common
made
little difference. What mattered
clandes
in
tineness. There was equality
and Rousseau
illegality; Chariot
were brothers
the
beyond
pale.
re
in which
these works were produced
The very way
helped
of irreligion,
duce them to the common denominator
immorality,
them felt no loyalty to
and uncivility.
The foreigners who printed
Church. The dealers
the Bourbons,
or, often, the Catholic
France,
in an underworld
of "bandits sans
them operated
who distributed
moeurs
et sans pudeur." And
the authors who wrote
them had
The arch
often sunk into a Grub Street life of quasi-criminality.
was
in broth
libelliste Charles Th?veneau
de Morande
brought up
in prisons,
the ma
els and educated
and those mileux
provided
terial for his writing.80
the
Perhaps
impurities
underground's
cer
it: the message
rubbed off on the books that passed
through
a state of affairs! A regime that
But
what
medium.
suited
the
tainly
its most advanced
its most debased
with
classified
por
philosophy
own under
was a
that
that
dug its
sapped itself,
regime
nography
to degenerate
into li
and that encouraged
ground,
philosophy
went
it
its
belle. When
lost
self-restraint
and
under,
philosophy
it turned
to the culture of those on top. When
its commitment
it committed
and kings,
itself to
churchmen,
own
the livres
turning
upside down. In their
language,
coun
called
and
The
for
undermining
overthrowing.
philosophiques
was
an
to
called for a cultural revolution?and
terculture
ready
swer the call of 1789.
against
244
courtiers,
the world
Reading, Writing, and Publishing
References
et
1. Marc
Bloch,
historique
"Critique
?conomies,
soci?t?s,
civilisations,
Roberto
Vivarelli.
2. Daniel
"Les
Mornet,
5
critique
du
(1950),
5;
des
enseignements
Annales:
t?moignage,"
reference
by
supplied
biblioth?ques
(1750
priv?es
1780)," Revue d'histoire litt?raire de la France, 17 (1910), 449-492.
3.
he
in his article, Mornet
the conclusions
made
carefully
qualified
statements
in his later work.
He
that his
sweeping
wrongly
implied
on the Social Contract
was
research
1780:
"De
for the period
after
valid
ce livre redoutable,
si Ton
avant
c'est ? peine
Daniel
Mornet,
1789,"
parle
au XVIIIe
"L'influence
de J.-J. Rousseau
Annales
si?cle,"
Jean-Jacques
et
8 (1912),
44. See also Daniel
Vhomme
Rousseau,
Rousseau,
Mornet,
Although
more
Voeuvre
origines
Boivin,
(Paris:
intellectuelles
de
229.
1954),
p.
r?futations
Robert
1950),
pp.
la R?volution
Social
Rousseau,
Jean-Jacques
it: "Rousseau's
tended
Contrat
32
and
Fran?aise,
Mornet's
accepted
Derath?
Contrat
du
102-1?6,
au XVIIIe
(1950-1952),
social had
Daniel
5th
?d.
Les
Mornet,
(Paris:
Colin,
"Les
interpretation:
Annales
de
la Soci?t?
si?cle,"
ex
7-12.
And
Cobban
Alfred
no ascertainable
before
influence
the Revolution
one
see his "The
and only a very debatable
its course";
during
in Aspects
the French
and
Revolution,"
Enlightenment
of the
reprinted
French
Revolution
latest extension
(New York: Braziller,
1968),
p. 22. The
is
Rousseau
and the French
1762-1791
(Lon
Revolution,
Joan McDonald,
don: Athlone
Press,
1965).
4.
See
the
devastating
review
article
by
R. A.
Leigh,
"Jean-Jacques
Rousseau,"
The Historical Journal, 12 ( 1969), 549-565.
to
the sort of con
abstruse
provoke
in
Switzerland
discourses
( except
), its
troversy
is difficult
to measure.
like all ideological
If repression
influence,
influence,
is any indication
state
of importance,
it should
be noted
that the French
never
it to circu
the Contrat
condemned
social but did not permit
formally
late freely.
The
found
it locked
revolutionaries
other
seditious
up with
5. Although
Rousseau's
that
literature
"le pilon
treatise
was
Emile
and
followed
in the pilon
of
la Bastille."
too
his
the Bastille:
Biblioth?que
de
l'Arsenal,
Ms.
10305,
de
in the widely-read
series
6. Escarpit's
book was published
"Que S ais-Je"
an
its
has already
four
editions.
As
of
influence,
gone
example
through
Actes
Louis
"La sociologie
du livre en France
Trenard,
(1750-1789),"
cinqui?me
Congr?s
national
de
la Soci?t?
fran?aise
de
litt?rature
and
see
du
compar?e
(Paris, 1965), p. 145.
7. Robert
uni
de
la litt?rature,
4th ?d.
Presses
(Paris:
Escarpit,
Sociologie
It should
de France,
be noted
also that the de
1968),
p. 46.
as a m?tier
in the eighteenth
of writing
did not cor
velopment
century
to the
of
See
the
phenomenon
respond
sociological
professionalization.
in the International
article
"Professions"
Parsons
by Talcott
Encyclopedia
536-547.
XII,
Sciences,
of the Social
versitaires
245
DAEDALUS
8. David
The French
Pottinger,
Mass.:
Harvard
(Cambridge,
to be
studies,
'librairie'
du
9. The
"La
cited
Book
henceforth
de
royaume
in the Anden
Trade
Press,
University
name
by
France
of author,
si?cle"
au
are:
"Deux
Roger,
et 'les M?moires
Jacques
Savants'
des
in the same
1 (1969),
au XVIIIe
si?cle,
Paris
47-88;
si?cle
(Paris:
Furet,
biblioth?ques
and Jean
(1954);
and Roger,
"Les
12. Mornet,
biblioth?que
secr?taire
de
B?ziers,"
du
magistrats
Les
Belles
Les
of an
findings
des
hommes
du
Meyer,
1966),
pp.
Journal
quantitative,"
au XVIIIe
de
perp?tuel
Dix-huiti?me
Parlement
de
1960),
pp.
Lettres,
unpublished
parlement
noblesse
bretonne
La
le
si?cle:
?tude
de
study
Paris
by
au
au XVIIIe
1156-1177.
19.
p.
11. Ehrard
l'Acad?mie
(Paris:
nationale,
Imprimerie
de Mairan,
Bluche,
the
incorporates
Les
Petit,
si?cle
R?gine
XVIIIe
de
et sa
savant
Dortous
Fran?ois
1715-1771
si?cle,
which
291-296,
"Un
Roche,
Jean-Jacques
membre
sciences,
des
l'Acad?mie
10.
Daniel
volume;
les livres de
si?cle:
d'une
soci?t?
1965); Jean Ehrard
18e
du
fran?ais
p?riodiques
Essai
de Tr?voux.'
Furet,
Fran?ois
et
in Livre
18e
dans la France du XVIIIe si?cle (Paris and The Hague,
and
1500-1791
R?gime,
p. 9.
1958),
56.
p.
des biblioth?ques
enseignements
p. 473.
priv?es,"
sous l'Ancien
savants
des
in
"Le Journal
cited
Birn,
Raymond
des savants
Journal
1965),
p. 28 and in Eug?ne
(January-March
R?gime,"
1859
en France
et litt?raire
de la presse
Histoire
(Paris,
Hatin,
politique
13. Quotation
1861), II, 192.
14.
du
la soci?t?
du livre dans
"La circulation
Flandrin,
et soci?t?,
2
Livre
? travers
sources,"
quelques
sondage
or at least un
three private
The Flandrins
studied
52-91.
1970),
(Paris,
that could not
works
discussed
censored
philosophic
journals, which
literary
in the pages
of quasi-official,
be mentioned
heavily-censored
periodicals
the
show
savants.
three
But
the Flandrins'
des
like the Journal
journals
discussed
Ehrard
and
bias
those
from
studied
Roger.
They
by
opposite
news?and
thus do not repre
that made
books?books
sensational
mainly
more
the
tastes
than do
sent
their
readers
the
of
any
literary
general
de Tr?voux.
and the Jesuit M?moires
Journal des savants
and Marie
Jean-Louis
18e si?cle:
15. Trenard,
16. The
un
"La
main
units
to make
mathematics
for
comparisons
to
and
in the
form
in
problem
statistics
and
two
the mid-century,
that
subjects
under
catalogued
by
246
the
too
broad
subcategory
do
livre
en France."
these
graphs
studies
eight
it was
necessary
some
of the data
constructing
in the
them
possible,
reconvert
articles
to
The
seemed
du
sociologie
published
although
they
on
not appear
in Livre
was
to find
under
to
comparable
In order
analysis.
some
the
of
redo
in graph
appeared
The
all refer
graphs
time
different
spans.
slightly
concern
"arts"
the various
that
et soci?t?.
represent
them mostly
that heading
et arts." Because
"sciences
heading
it was
to the modern
to mean
much
reader,
replaced
of four subsubcategories?phy
"sciences."
Composed
the
Reading, Writing, and Publishing
and
"sciences"
histoire
m?decine,
naturelle,
math?matiques*-the
case except
in every
be computed
those of Mornet
and Bluche-Petit.
no statistics
on mathematical
Mornet
but
the omission
books,
gave
prob
sique,
could
much
less than 1 per cent of all his titles and so did not
concerned
ably
affect
the general
from
Bluche
differentiate
"sciences"
did not
pattern.
et arts" at all.
"sciences
"sciences"
varied
the
widely
subcategory
Athough
cases
in other
to 70 per cent of the general
10 per cent
(from
category),
it seemed
of
the
it at half
of Bluche's
et
"sciences
arts"
indicated
broken
approximation
rough
by
to discount.
Mornet's
covered
reader may
figures
prefer
in the category
which
and
"belles-lettres,"
"grammaires"
"romans"
only
to estimate
reasonable
or 7
per cent
lines
that
the
total?a
probably left out a little over half that category, judging from the distribu
in Furet's
tion
probably
Mornet's
would
and
permissions
publiques
have
between
occupied
total
and
Mornet
others,
is indicated
not
did
classify
as
permissions
10 per cent
tacites.
and
The
category
per cent of
the
lines. Unlike
20
15 per cent by broken
literature
with
history,
travel
as was
the
in the
Had
division
he done
so, his "history"
century.
practice
eighteenth
cent.
would
have
another
1.5
"belles-lettres"
also
per
by
Meyer's
expanded
is
in broken
and therefore
lines.
appears
approximate
A
missions
Furet's
combining
graph
tacites was
constructed
studies
from
of permissions
and per
publiques
on his
original
based
computations
over-all
of
picture
it was
that an
output
hoped
literary
sources.
statistics
from those two very different
emerge
by combining
as it is, this
bar graph
contradicts
For
all the others.
Suggestive
composite
it somewhat
on Mornet's
resembles
the
but
based
statistics,
example,
graph
because
data,
would
Mornet
would
have
Because
tion
the French
far fewer
works
(6 per
religious
reading
and
(3 per cent)
(30 per
especially
history
whose
combined
shows 20 per cent religion,
Furet,
graph
and 11 per cent history.
to the
classifica
all eight
studies
kept close
eighteenth-century
not give much
to the modern
in search
reader
they do
help
in relation
cent)
cent ) than would
9 per cent science,
to
science
scheme,
Does
the Enlightenment.
one of the
eight
subcategories
of
with
tend
morale,
Roche's
do
four
m?taphysique.
which
statistics,
them
distinguish
on
statistics
provide
that
small,
stable
portion
of
associate
under
with
Enlightenment
"philosophie,"
con
et arts"? If so, he must
"sciences
ancienne,
philosophie
seem
but
promising,
additional
subsubcategories)
subsubcategories:
The
last two
sibling
and
not
he
include
two
from
their
"philosophie"
eighteenth-century
logique,
in
(except
the data
two
The
studies
four
predecessors.
as a whole
a
it comprised
suggest
the permissions
reading:
publi
ques fix it at 3 per cent ( 1723-1727), 3.7 per cent ( 1750-1754), and 4.5 per
cent (1784-1788); the permissions tacites at 6 per cent (1750-1759), 5 per
cent
des
per
and 6 per cent
in the Journal
the reviews
(1770-1774),
(1784-1788);
savants
at 3 per cent
4 per cent
and 5
(1715-1719),
(1750-1754),
cent
de Mairan's
( 1785-1789
) ; and it made
up 7 per cent of Dortous
evidence
for the
But
of lumi?res.
then
the En
library. Not much
spread
cannot
be identified
with
cate
lightenment
any of the eighteenth-century
or their subdivisions.
gories
It would
also be possible
to express
Pottinger's
study of two hundred
authors
in a bar
a statisti
because
he produced
eighteenth-century
graph,
247
DAEDALUS
as
as a model.
work
But,
publications,
taking Mornet's
and his
is so arbitrary
of writers
selection
Pottinger's
not mean
so
and unrepresentative
that the graph would
incomplete
to
for purposes
his findings
of comparison,
Nonetheless,
very much.
ought
Book
The French
be mentioned
Trade,
pp. 30-31):
religious
(Pottinger,
science
11 per cent of the total
20 per cent,
works
by his authors,
produced
20 per cent, law 2 per cent, belles-lettres
10 per cent.
history
cal
table
of
17. This
their
above,
explained
statistics
on
is based
figure
Michel
Fleury
the Maggiolo
and Pierre
Valmary
as
by
presented
literacy
?l?men
de l'instruction
of
study
in "Les
progr?s
taire de Louis XIV ? Napol?on III d'apr?s l'enqu?te de Louis Maggiolo
(1877-1879)," Population (1957), pp. 71-92, estimating the population at
26 million.
18.
and Marie-Th?r?se
Julien Brancolini
? la fin de
and
l'Ancien
R?gime"
livre dans
la soci?t?
du
circulation
enment:
Recent
article
that
in a
apear
2
(Paris,
"In
Darnton,
a Social
to Create
Attempts
will
Jean-Louis
18e si?cle:
du
see Robert
studies,
du livre
provinciale
"La
Marie
Flandrin,
un
? travers
sondage
and
et soci?t?,
in Livre
both
sources,"
of these
quelques
discussion
vie
"La
Bouyssy,
issue
forthcoming
1970).
Search
a detailed
For
of
the Enlight
a review
Ideas,"
of
History
of the Journal
of Modern
History.
19. The
remainder
of
this
is
essay
a "work
essentially
in progress"
based
report
on the first stages of research in the papers of the Soci?t? typographique de
Neuch?tel in the Biblioth?que Publique de la Ville de Neuch?tel, Neu
as STN.
cited henceforth
Switzerland,
ch?tel,
the papers
of
Jean-Charles-Pierre
Paris
from 1774 to 1775 and 1776
Mss.
d'Orl?ans,
Collection
Lenoir,
to 1785,
papers
cially fonds fran?ais, Mss.
21862,
of
de
the
la Chambre
Biblioth?que
21833, 22046,
de
12454,
12480,
12481,
12517);
and
syndicale
Nationale
22063,
of
police
municipale
(espe
22070, 22075,
the papers
of the Bastille
and
22109,
22081,
22116,
22102);
on the book
de l'Arsenal
trade in the Biblioth?que
( especially
12446,
were
sources
important
lieutenant-g?n?ral
in the Biblioth?que
Archives
the
1421-1423;
Anisson-Duperron
Other
and the Minist?re
related
papers
Mss.
10305,
des affaires
in
For
541-549).
(Mss.
Angleterre
Correspondance
politique,
as
on the
and Strasbourg
Kehl
route
book
through
underground
in the Archives
to Neuch?tel
the relevant
and Pontarlier,
papers
opposed
were
consulted
but
Mss. AA 2355-2362)
de la ville de Strasbourg
(mainly
on
under
out to be less useful
than the others.
Research
turned
publishing
?trang?res,
formation
the Old
Regime
by
now
has made
prohib?s ? Paris de 1750 ? 1789
of
reprint
tion about
the
original
the most
edition,
Paris,
J.-P.
Belin,
Le
commerce
des
livres
(New York, no date, a Burt Franklin
1913)
somewhat
dated.
For
informa
in
bibliographies
important
? Paris ? la fin de l'Ancien
La
Herrmann-Mascard,
and
universitaires
1750-1789
Presses
de France,
1968),
(Paris:
R?gime,
au dernier
en
et la librairie
Madeleine
Ventre,
Languedoc
L'imprimerie
de VAncien
1700-1789
si?cle
and The
Mouton,
(Paris
Hague:
R?gime,
was
be
written
thesis of H.-J. Martin
the
before
The present
1958).
essay
works,
secondary
censure
des livres
Nicole
came
248
available,
but
it relies
heavily
on his
article,
see
the
"L'?dition
parisienne
au
Reading, Writing,
XVIIe
si?cle:
aspects
quelques
7
civilisations,
is L?on Cahen,
(July-September
"La librairie
and Publishing
Annales:
?conomies,
soci?t?s,
?conomiques,"
article
303-318.
Another
1952),
suggestive
et la diffusion
?
du livre fran?ais
parisienne
la fin du XVIIIe si?cle, Revue de synth?se, 17 ( 1939), 159-179.
20.
A
typical
is the m?moire
example
syndic of the Chambre
Mss.
fol.
21833,
fran?ais
of August
2,
1783,
by
P?risse
Duluc,
syndicale of Lyons in the Biblioth?que Nationale,
96.
21. Revol to STN, July 4, 1784, STN Ms. 1205.
22.
a letter
de Neuch?tel
received
typographique
on the Swiss
its agent
from Fran?ois
Michaut,
side of
est assez
which
"Votre
chato
border,
partie
explained,
? raison de la crainte
cas de prise
ont qu'en
ils
uilleuse
les porteurs
que
ne fussent
saisis comme
introducteurs
la religion
qui attaquent
d'ouvrages
... Si vous ne voulez
ou qui traitent
en
? d?nigrer
certaines
personnes
place
vous
introduire
les porteurs
que des livres irr?pr?hensibles
par leur contenu,
For
dated
the
example,
October
votre
demanderont
environs
m?me
Soci?t?
30,
the French
vous
qui
une
lieue
1783,
garntie
rendront
loin
ces
pour
le quintal
s'il
faits
? 12
Autre
plus
? chaque
avant que
porteur
ce
l? les porteurs
font
prix
qu'?
marchandise."
Michaut
observed
assez
il faut
encore
nos
ou
?
quoi
Il faut vous observer,
de partir.
Messieurs,
sans vous
le mieux
de la
pour
r?pondre
some
ma
with
that
"effectivement
pride
clandestines"
les entr?es
but warned,
pour
le fallait.
boire
est
position
"l'on trouve
dans
l?, et vous en trouverez
? Pontarlier
livres de France
donner
avantageuse
le long de la route et dans
les villages
des employ?s
ambulants,
l'on soit en r?gle
et ?pluchent
arr?tent
la charge
d'un
que
qui malgr?
He
an agent
or
voiturier."
therefore
stressed
the need
to dupe
of having
bribe
the
of the General
Farm
the French
from
side of the
employees
ne connais
border:
? cela que
de plus propre
le sieur Faivre,"
"Je
personne
STN Ms.
1183. Faivre
to recommend
did not hesitate
himself.
On October
1784, he informed
tant fait et
promis
14,
J'ai
qu'ils
ment
ment
Ms.
23.
24.
STN
Mme.
vos balles
the society,
"Samedi
entreront.
prochain
? ces porteurs
et
de quoi boire
que
je leur donnerait
...
seront contents,
ce
les a ranim?s
? retourner
au mo
qui
Je suis
de traiter avec un
des fermes
laisser passer
libre
pour nous
employ?
la nuit et
les chemins
en s?ret?,"
o? l'on doit passer
STN
m'indiquer
1148.
to J.-P. Brissot,
La Noue
April
29,
STN Ms.
1781,
1109.
to STN,
La Noue
1173. Mme.
8, 1782, STN Ms.
September
that she overcharged
and underprotected
her
complaints
customers.
On December
vous prie M.
to the STN,
she wrote
9, 1780,
"Je
sur le sort de vos
aitres
vouloir
bien
son entre
tranquille
objet. Lorsquils
ne
mais
mains
rien pour
a
le mettre
?v?nements.
des
je
neglige
labry
en ma fa?on de travailler."
davoir
confiance
But on
13,
moy
Oblig?
January
she confessed
that six of its crates had been
at her
seized
1783,
doorstep:
etoit
"Le voituri?
suivi au point
dudit
quil cest trouv?
icy a la de charge
voituri?
3 personne
de la
ce sont
et
6
des
ditte
balles
prevott?
qui
emparr?
was
de
quils
sensitive
lettres
luy
de
on
to
voiture
fait
que
et
amoy
le voituri?
bien
des
na
put
question
leurs
reffuz?
pandant
par
quinze
les menaces
jour
pour
249
D
DALUS
a
les personnes
qui apartenoit
suis
ibid.
reffuz?,"
je
declarr?
les dittes
et dou
balles
elle
venoit
me
aquoy
25. Paul de Pourtal?s to STN, June 23, 1784, STN Ms. 1199.
26.
See
the Desauges
dossier
in the
On
Ms.
12446.
de l'Arsenal,
Biblioth?que
wrote
to
his
from
the
Bastille
1775, Desauges
p?re
dyspeptically
son mal
en
had
"il faut prendre
released,
just been
Je
patience.
t'avouerai
franchement
? la mort."
The Desauges
dossier
que
je m'ennuie
4,
April
son, who
in Neuch?tel,
Ms.
shows
1141,
at their most
dealers
cutthroat.
27. Mme.
28.
J.-F.
Bornand
ally
the
smuggled
to STN,
October
7,
of underground
practices
sharp
STN Ms.
1785,
book
1121.
to STN,
10,
August
books
from Versailles
STN Ms.
1124. Poin?ot
occasion
1785,
to Paris
at twelve
for Desauges
livres
was
which
with
the charges
of
quintal,
apparently
compared
cheap
Mme.
La Noue:
three
livres per "gros objet," which
her nephew
delivered
to
on the outskirts
of Paris
to STN,
( see Desauges
appointed
hiding
places
November
1141 and Mme.
to STN,
La Noue
24, 1783, Ms.
June 22, 1781,
Ms.
29.
J. E. Bertrand
the
1173).
his
had to try to cope with
the "verbiages"
of Mme.
tasks, Bornand
to STN,
the ruses of
(Bornand
19, 1785, Ms.
1124),
February
une
and Desauges,
and
the
of authors:
"C'est
Poin?ot
impecuniousness
triste ressource
to STN, March
les auteurs
(Bornand
9,
que
pour
l'argent"
Among
La Noue
1785, ibid.).
30.
Giles
"French
Barber,
Decrees
Royal
Book
the
Concerning
1700
Trade
1789," Australian Journal of French Studies, 3 ( 1966), 312.
31.
A.
des
O. O.
and F. A. Isambert,
J. L. Jourdan,
Decrusy,
anciennes
lois fran?aises
(Paris,
1822-1833),
XXI,
32.
Ibid.,
p. 218.
33.
Ibid.,
p. 217.
34.
V.
George
Revolution,"
35.
36.
M?moire
P. J. Blondel,
de Paris,
?d.
primeurs
18-25
and 45.
from
Quotations
119, and
37.
Ibid.,
38.
Because
p.
110
a correct
edition
Recueil
sur
les
Lucien
g?n?ral
and
Wealth
vexations
Faucou
des
of
the Origins
), 469-496.
g?n?ral
the
French
( 1967
72
Review,
Recueil
les
qu'exercent
(Paris,
1879);
libraires
see
anciennes
lois
of dating
Diderot's
Diderot's
et
im
especially
pp.
XXV,
109,
fran?aises,
respectively.
109.
of
it to earlier
the complicated
documents
that
problems
influenced
Lettre,
relating
and establishing
argument,
to read the Lettre
in the critical
of the text, it is important
Proust
(Paris:
Colin,
1962).
Jacques
Oeuvres
ed.
compl?tes,
J. Ass?zat
version
by
in Diderot's
250
Taylor,
"Noncapitalist
American
Historical
eds.,
230.
But
and
even
the
Maurice
old
edition
Tourneux
Reading, Writing, and Publishing
1876),
(Paris,
Librairie
6,
XVIII,
a note
included
(d'H?mery?) which
someone
by
in the Direction
et sur des mat?riaux
le conseil
des libraires
"d'apr?s
lui a fournis,
sont absolument
et dont
les principes
administration
des privil?ges."
the Lettre
Although
statements
to favor
about
liberty
and
the
and
que M. Le
contraires
la
. . .
Breton
?
some
contains
de
the Lettre
wrote
that Diderot
observed
la bonne
heartfelt
is twisted
its logic
the
advanced
arguments
by
claim
that Diderot
did not
tribulations
of authors,
it
the old
reproduces
to
Brunei's
accept
as an
or as a
the Lettre
either
of Le Breton
ally
paid propagandist
and the other
Lucien
"Observations
Brunei,
critiques
privileged
publishers:
sur un
et litt?raires
de Diderot,"
d'histoire
litt?raire
de la
Revue
opuscule
guild.
write
publishers
It is therefore
10
France,
difficult
1-24.
(1903),
some of the Parisian guild's power by giving
39. The code of 1777 weakened
the
authors
book
sales
them
to
public
illegal
Recueil
thus
celle
tante
to sell
right
in Paris
the
print
domain?an
activities
every
their
year.
own
works
by
of
acknowledgment
for lack of "un moyen
the
two
in
engaged
leurs presses,"
edicts
of 1777
had
they
l?gitime
d'employer
109. The
XXV,
lois fran?aises,
des anciennes
g?n?ral
to "faire cesser
la rivalit?
la librairie
de
attempted
qui divise
au
tourner
des provinces,
de cette branche
de la faire
profit
du
et de
commerce,
qui n'aura
went
too
plus
qu'un
to be
former
m?me
de
tous
ibid.,
small
int?r?t,"
such
by
settled
deep
to protest
who
continued
dealers,
against
the 1780's. The
1777 code also
throughout
les
libraires
une
119-120.
pp.
concessions
public
by permitting
to fall into the
publishers
it caused
that
fact
for
providing
provincial
of books
that
number
increasing
and
It favored
m?me
But
to
this
et
Paris
impor
famille
rivalry
the
provincial
the Parisians
exploitation
by
extended
and strengthened
the
in the provinces,
because
"S.M. a reconnu
serait
guild system
qu'il
dangereux
de laisser
subsister
les imprimeries
isol?es dans un ?tat
qui
d'ind?pendance
les abus,"
of the guilds
did not
ibid., p. 112. So the reorganization
y facilite
them or impair their
weaken
function.
substantially
policing
40.
41.
Gar?t,
D.-J.
sur le XVIIIe
M?moires
Biblioth?que
tax
French
Nationale,
and tariff
21833,
42.
The
particularly
tariff
historiques
(Paris,
1820),
si?cle
legislation
sur
la vie
de M.
Suard,
sur
ses ?crits
et
I, 274.
Mss.
This
account
foil. 87-88.
of
fran?ais
21833,
is derived
several
from
in Ms.
documents
legislation
foil. 89-91
and 129-140.
was
a constant
theme
in the
dence of the Soci?t? typographique de Neuch?tel
commercial
correspon
for the first half of the
even
sent one of its
on a business
society
partners
trip through
to sell books,
to find new ways
of
fraudulent
making
ship
as
and to learn as much
about
ments,
tariff
to
possible
policy.
According
the instructions
in his
he was
to seek out
M.
homme
travel-log,
"J.
Bruysset,
froid et habile:
Io S'entretenir
avec
en
lui de la librairie
fran?aise
g?n?ral,
savoir de lui si en effet
sera lev? ou diminu?,"
Ms.
STN,
1058,
l'imp?t
"Carnet
de voyage,
The Bruysset
one of
house was
1773,
J. E. Bertrand."
the most
effective
the tariff,
from the memoranda
lobbyists
against
judging
in the
Mss.
foil. 87-88
Nationale,
fran?ais
21833,
Biblioth?que
especially
and 129-140.
tariff damaged
The
the illegal
works
trade, because
pirated
1770's.
The
eastern
France
251
D
DALUS
were
false
43.
usually
Biblioth?que
reads as
Mss.
Nationale,
it were
the work
though
at
channels,
legal
through
and therefore
shipped
? caution
acquits
at
least
under
the border,
duty.
paid
21833,
fran?ais,
of Panckoucke.
This
foil.
87-88.
One
sou per
m?moire
was
gathering
the normal printing charge of the Soci?t? typographique de Neuch?tel,
whose
the
tions
44.
in the
business
flourishing
combination
of France's
seems
1770's
late
tariff
favorable
policy
to have
resulted
and
cheap
the
from
condi
in Switzerland.
of printing
a very detailed
that
The
dealer
foil. 111-115.
showed,
Ibid.,
argument,
by
in extra
61
15 sous
a
crate would
cost him
livres,
six-hundred-pound
enormous
cause
and damage
would
mishandling,
through
delays
charges,
insurance
for damaged
to collect
it
for him
and would
make
impossible
shipments.
fol.
70.
45.
Ibid.,
46.
Ibid.,
foL
107:
ulier,
ont
sur
r?trograder
aux
renonc?
"Les
de Paris,
les envois
libraires
?loign?s
contremand?
le champ
les ballots
en
?taient
qui
route,
et ceux
qu'on
annul?
en
de Lyon
partic
fait
leur faire,
et
leurs march?s,
devait
ils se voient
lesquelles
de
correspondance
plus
maintenant
pour
d'impression
entreprises
il n'existe
d?bouch?s.
Enfin,
et les libraires
les libraires
fran?ais
sans
d?j?
entre
active
?trangers."
47. J. F. Bornand to STN, April 12, 1784, STN Ms. 1124.
48. J. F. Bornand to STN, April 9, 1784, ibid.
49.
50.
J. F. Bornand
to STN,
1785,
19,
February
ibid.
a bookdealer
in Avignon,
1785:
"Nous
to Garrigan,
23,
August
sur
sans doute
de notre
bien
le regret
sinc?rement
l'interruption
nous
vous
de
l'honneur
bien
voulez
par
que
t?moigner
correspondance
vous n'ignorez
fatale
mais
la cause
votre
lettre du 10 de ce mois,
pas que
ne
en ?tre attribu?
des ordon
subsistante
la rigueur
toujours
qu'?
peut
nances
dans
concernant
de la librairie
le royaume.
l'introduction
?trang?re
ne pouvons
sur un tel
sont encore
? cet ?gard,
Les
choses
que nous
pied
fronti?re
de notre
faire entrer une balle Libri
prenant
par le bureau
qu'en
STN
partageons
un
? caution
Paris,
pour
acquit
ainsi un d?tour
immense
faisant
dicale
51.
52.
STN
ce
Parisienne,
to Mme.
J. E.
qui
est
o?
et
les
absolument
Bertrand,
early
seraient
v?tres
subissant
l'examen
impraticable,"
October
1785,
STN
de
en
d'aller
oblig?s
la Chambre
STN
Ms.
Ms.
syn
1110.
1110.
an
center
in Strasbourg,
of the clandestine
archives
trade,
important
a determined
in Neuch?tel
in that
effort by
those
they show
complement
to stop traffic in
the government
works.
pr?teur
Strasbourg's
royal
prohibited
seizures
of
received
from
officials
about
local
reports
illegal
frequent
The
across
from the publishers
shipments
orders
from his own superior,
the garde
the Rhine;
and he also received
des sceaux
26,
( letter of April
strict
1786,
in Archives de la Ville de Strasbourg, Ms. AA2356 ) : "La librairie proscrite
par
252
nos
lois vous
environne
de
toute
part;
et elle
p?n?trera
par
les moyens
Reading, Writing, and Publishing
. . .
vous ne lui aurez pas interdits,
si vous ne les lui interdisez
pas tous
vous exhorte
vous et le
donc fortement,
de votre ville, ? prendre
Je
magistrat
seem to have
les mesures
in Kehl
convenables."
this rigor, printers
Despite
a
as well
as Beau
and
libelles
got
great many
books?political
pamphlets
que
marchais'
semiautonomy,
it
made
53.
the
Voltaire?through
town's
easy
relatively
guaranteed
to
penetrate.
by
See Furet,
Estivals,
p. 8, and Robert
sous
au XVIIIe
France
la monarchie
nationale,
primerie
54.
Biblioth?que
55.
Ibid.,
fol.
108;
Ms.
see also
the
them
for
capitulations
La
statistique
si?cle
(Paris
in
Strasbourg.
of
1681,
The
have
may
bibliographique
and The Hague:
la
de
Im
p. 296.
1965),
Nationale,
laid
traps
foil.
fran?ais
21833,
fol.
107.
99-104.
to d'Adh?mar,
56.
Vergennes
57.
de
Ms.
The
10305.
l'Arsenal,
Biblioth?que
Vie
cuirass?,
d?valis?,
gazetier
L'espion
priv?e
un b?nitier,
and other
of the London
classics
des affaires
12, 1783, Minist?re
May
?trang?res,
542. The details
Ms.
of "cette machi
Angleterre,
Correspondance
politique,
nation
et de fourberie,"
as
it
de cupidit?,
called
d'intrigues,
Vergennes
to Lenoir,
to recount
I plan
which
ibid.)?and
24, 1783,
May
(Vergennes
in a later work?can
in the series 541-549.
be found
inventory
de Louis
also
included
Le
dans
XV, Le diable
It speci
of libellistes.
School
fied that they had been shipped to some of the customers of the Soci?t?
typographique
himself
Poin?ot
58.
For
theory
the
de Neuch?tel,
drew up the
view
conventional
and
in
permissive
Poin?ot,
notably
Blaizot,
and Mme.
La Noue.
inventory.
that
practice,
the
see
government's
J.-P.
Belin,
Le
was
policy
commerce
severe
des
in
livres
prohib?s ? Paris de 1750 ? 1789 (New York, no date, a Burt Franklin re
of the original
and the restatement
of Belin's
Paris,
edition,
1913)
in Nicole
La censure
des
livres ? Paris ?
Herrmann-Mascard,
interpretation
la fin de l'ancien
1750-1789
universitaires
de France,
(Paris: Presses
r?gime,
Both books
dismiss
in two sentences?the
the June 12, 1783, orders
1968).
same sentences,
almost word
for word
(Belin,
p. 45; Herrmann
curiously,
Mascard,
p. 102).
print
59.
It also
might
serve
a
to the Marxist
corrective
to treat
the
tendency
version
One
of this
bourgeois
ideology.
argues
tendency
as social contract,
and equality
before
individualism,
liberty,
the law derived
from
of exchange,
con
methods
which
involve
capitalist
tractual
between
free
and
individuals:
Lucien
obligations
legally
equal
"
"La pens?e
des
Annales:
Goldmann,
'Lumi?res,'
soci?t?s,
?conomies,
22 ( 1967),
752-770.
the multitude
of writers
who
civilisations,
Considering
such
ideas before
the
of capitalism,
this argument
expressed
development
seems
less
than its opposite,
which
relates
the Enlightenment
to
convincing
a tradition
of aristocratic
liberalism:
Denis
"Autour
des origines
Richet,
lointaines
de la R?volution
et
?lites
fran?aise:
id?ologiques
despotisme,"
Enlightenment
that ideas such
ibid., 24 (1969),
60.
as
as
STN,
Ms.
1-23.
1108.
253
DAEDALUS
61.
Ibid.
In contrast,
letter
"B":
indiscrets
ou
sens,
62.
the
under
the following
offered
catalogue
ou les
de
1774; Bijoux
Th?r?se,
galanteries
Le bon
Le bonheur,
par Helv?tius;
po?me
aux id?s surnaturelles."
the manuscript
"La belle
allemande,
8? figures;
par Diderot,
id?es naturelles,
oppos?es
in A. Van Bever,
et conteurs
Contes
Reprinted
In notes
280-281.
(Paris: Daragon,
1906),
pp.
the former
lieutenant
of police
memoirs,
general
this work with a widespread
au XVIIIe
gaillards
that he
Lenoir
J.-C.-P.
si?cle
for his
assembled
associated
outbreak of libeling in the 1780's (Biblio
de
Ms.
du successeur
"Les moeurs
1423):
d'Orl?ans,
th?que municipale
Louis
?tant
roi fut inaccessible
de ce
le nouveau
Quinze
inattaquables,
on
c?t? ? la calomnie
les
ann?es
de son r?gne, mais
pendant
premi?res
en 1778 ? le diffamer
et les
du c?t? de sa faiblesse,
commen?a
premi?res
ne
sa
contre
calomnies
ourdies
que de tr?s
personne
qui furent
pr?lud?rent
ceux de la m?chancet?
contre
la reine. M. de Maurepas,
peu de mois
qui
et des chansons
l? avait ?t? fort insouciant
touchant
des ?pigrammes
jusques
contre
de
faites
de tous
de Maurepas,
s'amusait
les libelles,
lui, M.
qui
toutes
et scandaleuses
et imprimait
les anecdotes
qu'on
priv?es
fabriquait
avec
eut avis que des ?crivains
avaient
fait entre eux une sorte de
impunit?,
au moyen
les
avaient
li? une correspondance
de laquelle
sp?culation,
qu'ils
uns
et
Paris
courantes
et
titres
les
de
des
histoires
fournissaient
envoyaient
des mat?riaux
? ceux qui les composaient
et faisaient
? La Haye
imprimer
en France
et ? Londres,
en
entrer
ils les faisaient
d'o?
par
petite
quantit?
Un
des voyageurs
secr?taire
lui an
d'ambassade
?trangers.
d'Angleterre
incessament
devait
y
qu'on
intitul? Les amours de Chariot
non?a
able
63.
Le
de
portefeuille
la cour de
d'un
talon
France,
reprinted
22. Lenoir's
no date),
(Paris,
p.
de
courtisans,
qui
encore
vivants
plus que
il a ?t?
Chariot
64.
65.
under
des
the
avec
ceux
un
des
anecdotes
title
Le
et secr?tes
galantes
du bibliophile
coffret
this account
(Biblio
maintenant
douteux
Chamfort,
contre
ministres
et d'autres
et autres
la
cour,
?crivains
contre
Il
employaient.
avait
? Londres,
compos?,
port?
amours
Les
intitul?
figures
grav?es
que Beaumarchais
probable
un
avec
libelle
imprim?,
et d'Antoinette."
Ibid.
Lenoir's
qui
les
les
est
o?
de
seem
to contradict
the above
interpretation
might
to
but they refer primarily
underground
publishing,
France
not to the traffic from outside
of libelles
inside Paris,
seems
a considerable
to have been
There
domestic
production
remarks
a crackdown
the circulation
to the
capital.
of libelles, which
of
influential
Palais-Royal,
See
Robert
on
survived
the
and
"protection"
where
the police
Darnton,
"The
could
Grub
not
Street
to
them because
impound
"lieux privil?gi?s"
like the
Ms.
1421.
See
ibid.,
penetrate.
attempts
police's
of
the immunities
Style
of Revolution:
Police Spy," Journal of Modern History, 40 ( 1968), 320-321.
254
abomin
libelle
confirm
manuscripts
1422 ) : "Il n'est
plus
de Cr?qui,
de Champcents,
Beaumarchais,
des
libelles
compos?
contre
en France
Ibid.
about
66.
concert
avaient
et m?me
ministres,
contenant
rouge
Ms.
d'Orl?ans,
de Montesquiou,
th?que municipale
MM.
que c'?taient
introduire
et d'Antoinette."
J.-P.
Brissot,
Reading, Writing, and Publishing
67.
Lenoir
68.
Lenoir
et
satires
leurs
an
in
fully
concernant
police
auteurs
success:
riot but without
the
most
observations
l'ancienne
chansons,
ibid.
les
coupables,
"De
entitled
essay
les mauvaises
libelles,
d?linquants,
ou
complices
ou anecdotes
Le
cuirass?:
gazetier
?
? cent lieues de la Bastille
( "imprim?
est si mal
la libert?,"
de
"La nation
1771),
fran?aise
p. 92:
l'enseigne
assure
sans
sont
On
constitu?e
robustes
les gens
que
prix:
aujourd'hui,
est
aussi
les femmes
? Paris
cher par
qui
qui d?bute
laquais
qu'un
pay?
Si ce syst?me
s'en servent qu'un
cheval
de race en Angleterre.
faveur,
prend
une
ou deux
In Le
les temp?raments."
r?tablir
suffiront
pour
g?n?ration
in L'oeuvre
libertin
de qualit?,
du Comte
?d.
de Mirabeau,
reprinted
im
aristocratie
Guillaume
Mirabeau
described
(Paris,
1910),
Apollinaire
a
in great detail. After
duchess'
abandonment
recounting
depraved
morality
Th?veneau
[Charles
of her
lover,
r?ellement,
ses
laquais:
de
France
he remarked
"Elle
l'a remplac?
par un
(p. 232),
au moral,
ils se convenaient;
le physique,
pour
quant
c'est le pain quotidien
d'une duchesse."
Th?veneau
[Charles
ou
pas blanc:
lieues
de
Morande],
la cour de
de
scandaleuses
70.
de
and
1422.
Ms.
d'Orl?ans,
his
developed
l'administration
the rumor
investigate
municipale
adh?rents,"
69.
to
tried
later
Biblioth?que
La
de Morande],
oeuvres
la Bastille,
noire
par
cuirass?
gazette
du
posthumes
? trois cent
gazetier
lieues
des
un homme
eut
qui n'est
? cent
("imprim?
? cinq
cent
Pr?sides,
et
prince,
elle
lieues
des Cordons, ? mille lieues de la Sib?rie," 1784), pp. 194-195.
71.
See
Richard
Revue
d'histoire
Revolutionary
72.
La
de
Cobb,
aspects
"Quelques
et contemporaine,
moderne
in France,"
History,
Mentality
7. For
noire,
use
gazette
promiscuous
a
6
r?volutionnaire,"
and "The
81-120,
181-196.
(1959),
42
(1957),
such rumors
about
the
example
en
see M.
de
ed.,
Lescure,
"gens
place"
sur Louis
la Cour
XVI, Marie-Antoinette,
similar
p.
of police
by
secr?te
in?dite
Correspondance
la mentalit?
of
et la ville de 1777 ? 1792 (Paris: H. Pion, 1866), II, 157-158.
73.
The
subheadline
of
account
the
the
of
queen's
in La
guillotining
P?re
Duchesne.
74.
75.
76.
Pierre
in Frantz
Quoted
Hachette,
Goubert,
monopoly
de
ou
particulier
de quelque
avantage
Charly
Paul
Les
d'Estr?e,
nouvellistes
p. 304.
R?gime,
in the Dictionnaire
See
152.
1423.
and
Funck-Brentano
I,
1969),
p.
152.
The
connection
between
privilege
and
is brought out clearly in the first definition of
"privil?ge" given
? un
78.
Ms.
d'Orl?ans,
1905),
L'Ancien
Colin,
(Paris:
R?gime
municipale
Biblioth?que
(Paris:
77.
L'Ancien
Goubert,
Guyot,
proph?tes de 89
l'Acad?mie
? une
fran?aise
communaut?
de
? l'exclusion
De
Rousseau
des
1778
(Paris.
faire quelque
accord?
) : "Facult?
ou de jouir
chose
autres."
? Mirabeau:
p?lerins
(Neuch?tel and Paris: Victor Attinger,
de
M?tiers
1936),
et
chap. 4.
255
D
DALUS
79.
Although
the
increased
severity
in the
policing
of
the book
trade
cut
down
on its business in France, the Soci?t?
typographique de Neuch?tel still did
its best to supply works like the following, which it entered in its "Livre de
commission"
Bruzard
foil.
(STN Ms.
1021,
a clandestine
de Mauvelain,
173-175)
dealer
after
in Troy
receiving
es, dated
an order
June
16,
from
1784:
"6 Les petits soupers de l'H?tel de Bouillon; 6 Le diable dans un b?nitier;
6
L'espion
au
trances
d?valis?;
Roi Louis
1 Correspondance
2 Memoirs
XV;
de Maupeou;
de Madame
1 Recueil
de
de
Pompadour;
remon
2 Vie
priv?e de Louis XV; 12 Fastes de Louis XV; 6 Histoire philosophique 8?,
10 vol; 6 Erotika biblion 8?; 1 La Mettrie; 1 Boulanger complet, antiquit?,
Christianisme,
ou
Calasie,
Jacques
Vergennes;
et
1 Helv?tius
6 Lettres
de Julie
?
despotisme;
complet;
du libertinage
? Paris;
1 la derni?re
de Jean
livraison
6
6 Les petits
du comte
de
scandaleuse;
soupers
Chronique
tableau
12?;
6 Le passe-temps,
d'Antoinette."
80. See Paul Robiquet, Th?veneau de Morande:
(Paris:
256
A. Quantin,
1882).
?tude sur le XVIIIe
si?cle