Thursday, November 30, 2023

Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie Dies at 94

 Le Roy Ladurie's book Montaillou was part of the basis for my novel The Night's Dark Shade. From The Washington Post:

For Dr. Le Roy Ladurie, who died Nov. 22 in Paris at 94, the withering persecution of Cathars became a landmark study in ways to reexamine history from the streets and alleys and taverns. His 1975 book “Montaillou: Village occitan de 1294 à 1324” (published in English in 1978 as “Montaillou: The Promised Land of Error”) helped establish Dr. Le Roy Ladurie as a leader in an academic discipline known as the Annales movement, which seeks the widest possible views in historical analysis and often rejects traditional historical framing that focused on rulers and military leaders.

“The Sherlock Holmes of the scholarly world,” wrote anthropologist Laurence Wylie in a 1987 Washington Post Book World essay and review on Dr. Le Roy Ladurie’s work. In more than 25 books, Dr. Le Roy Ladurie teased out stories and narratives from details found anywhere he could shake them loose: court transcripts, diaries, funeral records, weather data and mercantile ledgers. Dr. Le Roy Ladurie called it the “mental universe” of daily life. There, he said, were tales that offered a deeper and more nuanced appreciation to the past. (Read more.)

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