PublicationsWilliam Hanley, A biographical dictionary of French censors 1742-1789
«Ce premier volume est donc une réussite à peu près totale dans un domaine d'une rare complexité. L'ensemble permet de mesurer combien les idées reçues sur la censure dans les dernières décennies de l'Ancien Régime sont révisées par une étude attentive des archives de la Librairie. On pourrait dire de l'ouvrage de W.Hanley en pastichant
Bélisaire: "La vérité luit de sa propre lumière".»
«Given the incomplete and uneven nature of the sources, it may be nearly as difficult to do a full-fledged, sociological study of the censors as it is to write a social history of authorship in eighteenth-century France. But the censors are listed in the annual volumes of the Almanach royal, and they left many traces of their careers in the
Collection Anisson-Duperron of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Using these and other documents, William Hanley is preparing a rigorous biographical dictionary, which will make it possible to develop a prosopography or collective profile of all the censors during the last five decades of the Ancien Régime.»
Under the ancien régime the law required that books be authorised by the state in order to be published legally in France. Among the most important functionaries involved in the screening of ideas were the primary agents of this preventive censorship, the royal censors. Given that their verdicts were normally accepted by their superiors they played a crucial role in the policing of thought and are of vital importance in any consideration of the dissemination of thought in the age of Enlightenment.
This biographical dictionary of the 367 men who served as censors between 1742 (the year in which their names began to appear regularly in the Almanach royal) and 1789 (the year in which their activities ceased), a particularly crucial period in the struggle for freedom of expression. It seeks to present as complete a picture of them as possible. The entries are organised under the following headings: name, birth and parents, civil state, career, death, posterity, reports on works examined, signature, further references, and notes.
To a large extent the originality of this project lies in its sources. In the interests of precision and completeness a thorough search of archives, manuscripts, and eighteenth-century printed books and journals has been completed in order to base the biographical sketches on primary sources pertaining to the major events in the censors' lives. A great deal of material has been located at the Archives nationales, especially in the Minutier central des notaires; information has been collected from the archives of most French departments, numerous towns, and the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
This work will serve as a valuable research tool. For the first time the names of all the censors who served during the period are brought together. The results eliminate the confusion or ignorance which surrounds many of them and some are identified for the first time. New material is made available concerning their public and private lives. Errors are corrected and the process by which the printed word was scrutinised is clarified. Of particular interest is the insight gained into the prevailing values of the establishment and into the attitudes and techniques of those who sought to subvert them. Though the censors played a critical and sometimes surprising role in the struggle for the minds of the nation, their place in the history of ideas has not been fully appreciated. This work enhances our perception of their contribution to the ideological life of eighteenth-century France and our grasp of the structures within which they worked.
A biographical dictionary of French censors will be completed in six volumes.
Tome 1. A-B
ISBN 978-2-84559-031-1, 2005, 210 x 265 mm, xii + 400 pages, 65 illustrations, broché, prix €160
Selected legal and related terms
Notices A-B. Accarias de Serionne, Jean‑Jacques Adanson, Michel Adhenet, Charles Albaret, Durand d' Ameilhon, Hubert‑Pascal Andry de Boisregard, Nicolas Arnoult, Nicolas Artaud, Jean‑Baptiste Asseline, Jean‑René Astruc, Jean Aubert, Jean‑Louis Aubry, Jean‑Thomas Banier, Antoine Baron d'Hénouville, Théodore Barthélemy, Jean‑Jacques Barthez, Paul‑Joseph Beauduin, Louis Beaujon, Jean‑Nicolas Beauvais de Préau, Charles‑Nicolas Béjot, François Belidor, Bernard Forest de Belley, Augustin Bellier‑Duchesnay, Alexandre‑Claude Bellin, Nicolas Bérenger, Laurent‑Pierre Berthelot, Jean‑François Berthier, Edme‑Joseph Bézout, Etienne Billard de Lorière, Jérôme‑Louis Billardon de Sauvigny, Edme Blanchard de La Valette, Claude Blanchet, François Blavet, Jean‑Louis Blin de Sainmore, Adrien‑Michel Blondel, Jean Bonamy, Pierre‑Nicolas Bonnay, François Bonnedame, Claude Bordenave, Toussaint Bosquillon, Edouard‑François‑Marie Bossu, Pierre‑Louis Bottée, Charles‑Nicolas Bouchaud, Mathieu‑Antoine Boudot, Pierre‑Jean Bougainville, Jean‑Pierre de Bouguer, Pierre Bouillerot, Roland‑Thomas Boullet de Varennes, Jean‑Baptiste‑François‑Charles Bouvart, Michel‑Philippe Boyer Boyer, Jean‑Baptiste‑Nicolas Boyer d'Eguilles d'Argens, Paul de Boze, Claude Gros de Bracq or Brack, Charles‑Pierre Bralle, François‑Jean Brémond, François de Bréquigny, Louis‑Georges Oudart Feudrix de Bret, Antoine Bridard de La Garde, Philippe Brissart, Jean‑Simon Brisson, Antoine‑François Brisson, Mathurin‑Jacques Bruhier d'Ablaincourt, Jacques‑Jean Brunet, Jacques‑François Bruté de Loirelle, Jean‑Baptiste‑Bruno Bruys des Gardes, Philibert Bruys de Vaudran, Claude Bucquet, Jean‑Baptiste‑Michel Buret, Nicolas Burette, Pierre‑Jean Butel‑Dumont, Georges‑Marie
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Tome 2. C
ISBN 978-2-84559-120-2, 2016, 210 x 265 mm, xii + 632 pages, 38 illustrations, broché, prix €225
Selected legal and related terms
Notices C: Cadet de Saineville, Jean Baptiste Claude Cadet de Vaux, Antoine Alexis Cahusac, Louis de Camus, Armand Gaston Capon, Claude Charles Capperonnier, Claude Capperonnier, Jean Capperonnier, Jean Augustin Cardonne, Denis Dominique Cardonne, Nicolas Dominique Carpentier, Jean François Carrère, Joseph Barthélemy François Casamajor, Antoine Cassini, Jacques Caussin de Perceval, Jean Jacques Antoine Chaillou, Pierre Louis Chassel, Jean Gabriel François Chenu, Gilles Pierre Chenu, Louis Chérin, Bernard Chevreuil, François Charles Chretien, Michel Clairambault, Nicolas Pascal de Clairaut, Alexis Claude Cochin, Charles Nicolas Collet, Louis Jean François Colombier, Jean Condillac, Etienne Bonnot de Coqueley de Chaussepierre, Claude Geneviève Cortot, Jean Coste, César Cotterel, Alexandre François Coupé, Jean Louis Courchetet d'Esnans, Luc Court de Gebélin, Antoine Coypel, Antoine Charles Crébillon, Claude Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon, Prosper Jolyot de
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