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William 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".»

François Moureau, Bulletin du bibliophile.

«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.»

Robert Darnton, Censors at work: how states shaped literature.

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

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   Preface

   Abbreviations

   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

   Bibliography

   Table of contents

Tome 2. C

ISBN 978-2-84559-120-2, 2016, 210 x 265 mm, xii + 632 pages, 38 illustrations, broché, prix €225

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   Acknowledgments

   Abbreviations

   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

   Bibliography

   Table of contents

 

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