The French Worker: Autobiographies from the Early Industrial by Mark Traugott

By Mark Traugott

This anthology, drawn from the autobiographies of 7 women and men whose lives span the 19th century, presents a unprecedented glimpse of the standard lives of staff within the age of early industrialization in France. showing for the 1st time in English, those tales vividly exhibit the pursuits, hardships, and reversals of normal humans suffering to achieve a degree of respectability.The employees' livelihoods are different: chair-maker, embroiderer, joiner, mason, silk weaver, machinist, seamstress. Their tales of day-by-day actions, paintings lifestyles, and renowned politics are packed with energetic, usually poignant moments. We research of dismal, unsanitary housing; of ailment; office injuries; and negative worry, specially for the kids of the negative. We learn of exploitation and injustice, of courtship and marriage, and of the sociability of the wine-merchant's store and the boardinghouse.Traugott's analytic advent discusses the various shifts in French society throughout the 19th century. utilized in mix with different resources, those autobiographies light up the connection among alterations in operating stipulations and within the different types of political participation and protest happening because the century got here to an in depth.

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Extra info for The French Worker: Autobiographies from the Early Industrial Era

Sample text

Virtually all have, of course, long been available to specialists in the history of France, but this is the first time, to my knowledge, that extensive segments of any have been translated into English. For this reason, the present volume both opens these texts to a broader audience and creates the opportunity for new perspectives to emerge. 3 2. The distinction between texts as means and as ends is adapted from an observation made by Philippe Lejeune, Je est un autre: L'Autobiographie de la littérature aux médias (Paris, 1980), p.

The shaded areas are the departments where the authors were born or raised; the numbers correspond to the chapter numbers. 4 To provide a context for interpreting the authors' autobiographical accounts, this introductory essay begins with an overview of the forces at work in French society in the age of industrialization, and goes on to sketch what daily life 4. I have chosen to regard the nineteenth century as beginning with the demise of the Old Regime around 1789. This slightly elongated nineteenth century roughly (footnote continued on next page) Page 4 Table 1.

The birthrate was substantially higher than today's, in part as a response to the high incidence of childhood disease. Jeanne Bouvier begins her autobiography with her earliest childhood memory, the baptism of her younger brother in 1868. Sixteen months later, he would die of measles, an illness which carried off many children in those days. Suzanne Voilquin comments almost matter-of-factly on her mother's loss of three children in infancy. Rearing several offspring was a hedge against the uncertainties that went with a high rate of infant mortality.

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