Montaillou by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie

Montaillou by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie – Cathars and Catholics in a French Village 1294-1324 – translated by Barbara Bray – is another book I read for my studies. First published in 1975 in French and translated into English a few years later, this was very popular with the public. It sold hundreds of thousands of copies. The book is about the everyday life in a medieval French village. It had about 200 inhabitants and it is structured thematically, covering everything, from where the livestock lived to the sexual life of the people in Montaillou .

Montaillou by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie

The sources Le Roy Ladurie uses are records gathered by the Catholic Church in its pursuit of heretics. He read everything on this particular village and his account recreated the daily life beautifully. Reading this book it became clear why it was so popular. It’s far from dull and the Le Roy Ladurie storytelling is just wonderful. I am glad I read it and I would highly recommend it. Despite being a subject one might not think of as particularly interesting, the book in fact it is fascinating.

Montaillou by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie

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My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes!
Published by: Penguin Books
Year it was published: 1990 (first published in 1975)
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): History – France
Pages: 400

About the author: Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie was a French historian who focused upon Languedoc in the ancient regime, particularly the history of the peasantry.
He has had a distinguished career, serving as Administrateur Général of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (1987-94); member of the Institute (Academy of Moral and Political Sciences); Agrégé of the University, Doctor of Letters; Commander of the Legion of Honor (1996); and has taught at the universities of Montpellier, the Sorbonne, and Paris VII. Dr. Ladurie is the author of many historical works, including Les Paysans de Languedoc (1966), Histoire du Climat depuis l’An Mil (second ed., 1983), Montaillou, village occitan (1975), Le Territoire, de l’Historien (2 vols., 1973, 1978), Le Carnaval de Romans, 1579-1580 (1980), L’Etat royal (1987), L’Ancien Regime (1991), Le Siècle de Platter (1995), and Saint-Simon, le systeme de la Cour (1997).
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2 thoughts on “Montaillou by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie”

    • These are for my option course, so we talk about structure and ideas and how evidence is used and arguments made. The topic of the books are less important, but microhistory is really interesting for both academics and the public. I love reading these interesting books, as you can imagine. 🙂

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