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Jonathan Dewald's Lost Worlds

Reviewed published here in September 2007

Jonathan Dewald's new book, Lost Worlds; the emergence of French social history, 1815-1970 (Penn State: Penn State Press, 2006), is a series of thoughtfully connected essays about the history of social history. The point of focus is the programmatic of Marc Bloch and Lucien Febvre's Annales ..., how it came to be what it was, their personal research and publications (more Febvre's than Bloch's), and the discursive "methodological" framings present in their whole historian project. Dewald's is a very fresh and welcome approach to twentieth-century French historical thought. Almost with a sense of wonder he finds contexts, framings, and examples (my terms) in such unlikely places as the writers gathered around the Goncourt brothers, Taine, Renan, Michelet, Sainte-Beuve, and Alfred Franklin. The approach is sustained synthesis complemented by close readings, telling quotations, and firm judgments. Claims about origins, or the first time for this or that, are avoided; the overall tone is sympathetic, engaging, and ironic at important points. This is exemplary history pulled from exemplary historical thought, with attention to the programmatic. The latter does not often square with what writers actually turn out to write. One of my favorite examples of this is Philippe Sagnac's La Formation de la société française moderne (Paris: PUF, 1945), which has a quite brilliant and innovative Introduction followed by a book that could probably have been written 20-30 years earlier. Dewald's exploration of the continuities in German social-rural history will bring to the fore the question of continuity of research and program for the generation that wrote before and after World War II.

Had someone come along to ask me about the methodological-discursive "origins" of the Annales, I would have begun by evoking Henri Berr, the Revue de Synthèse, and the notion of histoire totale. I recall Louis M. Greenberg's really quite impressive paper on this subject. Berr does not make it into Dewald's book, and in a way understandably so. Dewald discerns thought about the social and the historical that is more deeply layered in modern literary culture than the late-nineteenth-century social-scientific discourses and their twentieth-century successors. And he is after not only what interested people, but also their affective ties and affiliations, mostly literary and journalistic rather than university, the exception being the Collège de France. I do not know if Tocqueville pere (see R.R. Palmer) belonged to a coterie of littéraires, but probably not, which might account for why this remarkable interpreter of the French Revolution as the work of the bourgeois is not here.

While not confronting C.O. Carbonell's argument directly ­ namely that in the period 1865-1885 French historians selected their research topics in conformity with their social and professional status (lawyers wrote legal history, priests religious history, aristocrats the history of the nobility) ­ Dewald probably found that this was simply too general and reductionist to interpret, say, the Goncourts, Sainte-Beuve, and Franklin; and I would agree. Equipes. groups, laboratoires and seminars, dining groups, and academies have a much stronger purchase on individuals than do their social origins or their doctoral supervisors ­ though there are occasional near loners or "marginals" who have enormous impact on historical thought at a particular moment.

Before turning to Dewald's argument, I should like to mention just one more book: François Léger's biography of Taine. Dewald pulls facts from it, and appropriately so; but the importance of Taine to the extreme Right Wing group to which Ariès belonged is confirmed by Léger's very choice of subject. And the preface that Ariès provided (Dewald notes it) for this book by this companion in arms (pen and paper) over decades, along with Boutang and Girardet, must be stressed. Léger's Taine is a very strong evocation of the continuities in Parisian literary culture. There is almost an odor of the Ancien Régime in the social relations that Taine develops ­ and this despite his deep interest in the latest natural scientific research. Thus one of the continuities that Dewald grasps is the importance of the coterie for the continuities he discerns. Research projects, religious beliefs, political engagements, etc., may vary over the decades, but the writers create small social groups, converse a lot, read each other's work, and on occasion promote one another. These coteries died out, since they are not self-perpetuating corporations like the universities and the academies. Henri-Jean Martin's very recent death probably marks the end of the circle around Febvre. Of the circle to which Ariès belonged, both Léger and Girardet are still living, I believe.

Two important themes are discussed in the Introduction. The first is the very creative climate that prevailed and made a new kind of history thinkable at the end of the nineteenth century. Psychology and sociology were emerging as distinct social sciences, and for just a few decades ­ between the 1870s and World War I ­ the "thoughtful classes" could devote their attention to other issues. Jacques Barzun argued years ago that the most creative moment of the twentieth century was the first decade ­ in physics, the arts, literature, and why not, history.

For a long time the Annales had as its title Annales d'Histoire économique et sociale. Dewald obviously cannot simultaneously tackle all the themes in his book, but he leaves the reader with the impression that from its inception social history had quite distinct disciplinary limits.
In September 1955 (my first class in graduate school) Herbert Heaton quickly sketched out the creation of economic history, beginning with Arnold (not A.J.) Toynbee's lectures and the generations of Clapham, Ashley, Usher, Tawney, Habakkuk, F.M.L. Thompson (not E.P.), et al. I don't recall what Henri Sée knew of this British "school" of economic history, or of the early German steps in a similar direction at least a generation before Sombart (e.g., Schmoller). In his pioneering first publication in the Annales..., of what would become Les Caractères originaux (1931), Marc Bloch cites S¨¦e on the Vaine Pâture and E.C.K. Gonner's Common Land and Inclosure of 1912.

Febvre would be less interested than Bloch in the questions that very largely became the province of economic history. Henri Hauser was the French scholar on the international committee for the history of prices that was led by Posthumous and Beveridge. Braudel had a lifelong interest in economic history, so much so that he irritated the younger generations of Annales editors by forever proposing to accept yet another article on the price of wheat in Smyrna. Apologies, dear reader, for this rambling; the point is to wonder when disciplinary boundaries developed in social history.

The second main point in Dewald's Introduction is to note that the people in this undercurrent of thought behind Bloch and Febvre held various religious and political views. Dewald adopts current American political terms when he refers to some writers (I am not going to use the term "intellectual") as being conservative, when in France they would be considered on the Right or, in the case of Maurras and Ari¨¨s, Extreme Right. Dewald is seeking to discern the blending or melding of historical thought from various writers whose works have rarely been considered together, Sainte-Beuve and Taine, for example. Some of these circles (dare one call them sodalities?) were more open and eclectic than others. The circle around Sainte-Beuve and the Goncourts brought along younger writers; the one around Boutang and Ari¨¨s was really only one generation, and at its core it had intense political engagement through journalistic writing. Sainte-Beuve reminds me of Conrart and D'Alembert: true circle-makers by their persons and wide-ranging intellectual interests. For readers unfamiliar with Conrart, it was his circle of literary friends who met regularly that Richelieu chose to "honor" by having the French Academy founded for them. As perpetual secretary of that same corps, D'Alembert would deftly influence elections, smooth ruffled feathers, and shape the thought of the whole group on literature and politics through his Eloges of dead members.

Sainte-Beuve's lundis were required reading for the littéraires. His great historical project on Port-Royal constituted a sympathetic presentation of a religious community that had suffered to extinction as a result of odious oppression by the Jesuits, the high clergy, and the State, including the Sun King. The Port-Royal community claimed (and dared!) tell the truth about this violent oppression of innocent religious. Port-Royalist writings are often personal memoirs ­ a genre that enabled readers to identify with their suffering.

In the nineteenth century there was a lot of celebration of the nostalgic "good old days" of the Ancien R¨¦gime, Louis XIV, Molière, Boileau, and Racine. Sainte-Beuve's learned, non-polemical history challenged this Right Wing, often Church-centered nostalgia. One understands why Renan and Taine enjoyed Sainte-Beuve's table at the Magny restaurant. The Goncourts were something else: heirs of Caylus and the collectors and littéraires that Francis Haskell so brilliantly recreates: rich, independent-thinking, un-pious, but possessing that Ancien-Régime genteel quality of making the poor but gifted feel at ease. Their chosen genre would also be very personal, with little or no scientific claims. When Renan selected the genre for his major work, again it was personal and biographical. Although Taine appears exceptional in this respect owing to his almost obsessive resort to hierarchy as a way of analyzing, there are parts of his work that resemble more closely what others in Saint-Beuve's circle were doing, including writing a novel. Taine's interest in natural science probably fostered his recourse to hierarchy as an ordering principle. "Race, milieu et moment," his famous formula, does not resemble the geography-economy-society mentalities of the Annales, but ordering and determining as such in nineteenth-century science is present. And Sainte-Beuve demonstrated how deep historicized exemplarity could be. He did not see Jansenism as leading to the French Revolution. Instead, it seemed to lead nowhere, since God did not seem to intervene to help these believers. Interiorized faith and the corrosive evil of power left Sainte-Beuve in what would later be characterized as an existential state. God did not seem to be hidden, but simply not there; but His followers at Port-Royal founded high standards of personal and scientific truth. As for Renan's Vie de Jésus, the storm it created is part of a well-known narrative.

The last two big questions discussed in the first chapters are: Why was research in the nineteenth century so firmly fixed on seventeenth-century topics? And why did the history of women come to hold such an important place in the same research frame? There were personal reasons and curiosities, but interest in the seventeenth century turned largely on efforts to understand historically the origins of modernity, stability, and literary culture as part of political culture. On these themes Dewald offers a major insight into the culture of the nineteenth century.
He reminds me here and there of C. Brinton's book on Romanticism!

Victor Cousin's biographical studies of aristocratic women gave him something to talk about in the salons of Paris, those survivors from the Ancien Régime, as Steven Kale has shown. There is a whiff of Brantôme in these biographies, re-figuring the social that facilitated his move from (impolite) philosophy to the literary. Dewald shows Sainte-Beuve's interest to be much deeper and genuinely feminist. His reading helped him grasp the enormous importance of women to literature, in it and writing it. From there it was an important step to reflect on women in general, and to exemplify their importance in public action. He took that step.

Who was the minister of education that had the intelligence to appoint Marc Bloch and Lucien Febvre to professorships in the newly-French University (again) University of Strasbourg? After Les Rois thaumaturges ­ but before his interest in agricultural history ­ there was La Société féodale in the Evolution de l'Humanité series edited by Henri Barr, chez Albin Michel. Febvre wrote several books for the same series, but what is important lies elsewhere. The minister needed a medievalist who could hold his own in a multi-language world in which the force and the range of Percy Schramm was present. He may also have thought of an ethnic dimension. The Jewish community in Strasbourg might welcome Bloch and help ties to France in an age when, although Germany had lost the war, she had by no means lost her intellectual and cultural magnetism.

Febvre's thesis on the Franche-Comté during the reign of Philip II made him something of an expert on political integration of "foreign" polities. It had long been current to characterize Martin Luther as quintessentially German, but lofty and common or even crude. Febvre's biography of Luther written in Strasbourg depicted the reformer in European, almost universalist terms, not diminishing, but making him great in non-German terms. It would be only a step further to tackle the problem of religious belief. Dewald presents the study of unbelief in the age of Rabelais ­ as the principal historical achievement of Febvre. From the viewpoint of works published, he is certainly correct; but I think the Annales must be considered as truly his life work. His presence in shaping the journal, his programmatic statements and boutades gave it inclusion, vitality, and boldness. It might have been otherwise had Bloch not been killed by the Nazis. Less flamboyant, Bloch probably would never have developed that oral style in writing that made Febvre's Annales something to be a part of and to stand up for. He tweaked the old history and heralded movement, and yes, progress in historical studies! The programmatic in the work of one historian is often unfulfilled; the programmatic as expressed through leading an équipe and as articulated in a journal is quite another. But the carefully read and often discussed works of Sainte-Beuve, Renan, and Taine are there in Le Problème de l'incroyance.... No longer remote or distant, these works had become personalized for Febvre. In a sense, he possessed them. There was not so much disrespect as simply ignoring the frames of the disciplines. Dewald is correct to point out the rivalry with and hostility to the university, yet separation from it would take two generations and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes, in the specific shape of the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, before the third generation did not bother to write thèses d'Etat. But I must try to be brief.

Chapter 5 explores Alfred Franklin's private-life history project. Here the physical space was neither a restaurant nor a university (Strasbourg), but a quite sleepy, utterly engaging Mazarine Library. The Mazarine is part of the Institut, as is the wonderful Institut Library; thus the staff perhaps had more time for personal research in those days than at the increasingly professionalized B.N. and A.N. As early as the 1770s and 1780s still another library, the Arsenal, had been the center of a project to write a history of French private life, under d'Argenson de Paulmy. Franklin possibly thought that his monumental history of all the old libraries in Paris was much more serious and scholarly than his La Vie privée d'autrefois. (It is significant that he did not call it a "history.") He certainly knew about the Paulmy project (it would be interesting to see if he refers to it in his pages about the Arsenal Library), but one cannot say he took it up or imitated its program.

K. Pomian's and A. Schnapper's research on curiosity sheds much light on Franklin. Instead of objects Franklin presents facts that are simply interesting to know. Dewald's presentation of Franklin's work is superb, but from the perspective of social history it should perhaps be noted that Franklin was more interested in corporations, guilds, and professional groups than in the family or social rank or class. There is some interest in working conditions, and the documents he published are often contracts. (One of my volumes ends with "contrat d'allouage d'une couturière" on April 9, 1687; and in a note he says: "Original sur papier, appartenant à l'auteur.") He perhaps edited other documents that belonged to him, but isn't it remarkable that he would be proud to note this ownership in an era when the hierarchy of value for old documents scarcely included such contracts, unless they bore the signatures of illustrious persons? In this case, the coutuière was witnessed by a clerk, because she could not sign her name. Curiously, only Flandrin cites Franklin in Volume III of the Ariès-Duby series.

Dewald is right about the binary arguments in Volume III of the Ariès-Duby series, which obviously heightens the contrasts between modern and contemporary private life. But what Franklin does not explore is as revealing as what he does. There is little about devotional practices (something on fasting, if I recall) or about devotional objects ­ which along with a small mirrors and tin ware find their way into most foyers in the early-modern centuries. This absence confirms what Dewald notes about Franklin's secular stance.

A major work that preceded Franklin by a century was, of course, Lacurne de Saint-Palaye's Mémoires sur l'ancienne chevalerie (see L. Gossman), although it does not have "private life" in the title. The rise of Medievalism in the eighteenth century is much too big a topic to be mentioned here, but it is suggestive to note that Lacurne presents such private-life subjects as child-rearing, and in doing so he confirms Ariès's argument about the child-centered family becoming stronger in the eighteenth century. Lacurne's notes, if I recall properly, went to the Arsenal Library.
In late nineteenth-century French political culture, what could be called classical republicanism frequently comes to be discerned as individualism. This can appear simply as a decline of communal and familial constraints, property law or custom that emphasizes the powers of the individual, or military civic-mindedness, as in Bloch's Strange Defeat. As already noted, circa 1930 Bloch published an early version of Les Caractères originaux in the Annales. What is the title? "La Lutte pour l'Individualisme agraire dans la France du XVIIIe siècle." Dewald quotes Roger Chartier from Volume III of the Private Life series: "... But the new concept of the individual had an important influence on the definition of private space...." (p. 137).

Ariès was elected to the Ecoles des Hautes Etudes, but I do not recall his being appointed to the editorial board of the Annales. The election was Furet's doing. Braudel had become preoccupied almost entirely by his research, writing, and election to the French Academy. André Burguière, Maurice Aymard, and Jacques Revel constituted an équipe, along with Roger Chartier, the remarkably effective editor of Volume III after the death of Ariès. Dewald remarks on the somber if not quite pessimistic tone in the Ariès-Duby private-life volumes (or more particularly, in Volume III), and he is correct: it is there, and conservative, for want of a better word. Y. Castan argues that state power in law and administration created conditions that slowly weakened the coercive powers of communities and families, impeding the full development or épanouissement of individuals: and so, the stronger the state, the stronger Individualism. Or a more vulnerable individual? Would (or does) Günther Franz have argued in the same way?

Braudel had an almost childlike fascination with technology and did not particularly fear the social change produced by it. Markets and capital formation were spheres of adventure, chance, and escape for him; whereas Ariès, in so far as he considered them, saw them as disruptive, de-humanizing, and/or causing superficial change, a paradoxical if not contradictory view.

Bloch's prose had the style of written prose, and Febvre's had an oral quality. Braudel and Ariès surpassed them both as rhetoricians. Both wrote as they talked, but Braudel hammered y, en, ceci, cela, ainsi, to create a style that made his jargon words seem current and playful. Is that what comes from writing the Mediterranean... without notes, in a German prison?

The depiction of male nobles in films has varied over time from the heroic and tragic in La Grande Illusion, to the decadent films too numerous to mention; but the young rural noble with a social conscience in Ridicule is a new type and will probably be imitated. He is humane and has natural esprit, unlike the corrupt courtiers he shows up. In his chapter on nobles, Dewald begins by noting how late they were taken seriously by historians. Davis Bitton cites the Vicomte d'Avenel's La Noblesse française sous Richelieu (Paris, 1901), and P. de Vaissière's Gentilshommes compagnards de l'ancienne France (Paris, 1902), but Dewald does not cite them, either in his book on Rouennais robe nobles or the one on the Pont-Saint-Pierre. I suspect that most of the great studies ­ Meyer, Saint-Jacob, Le Roy Ladurie ­ do not cite these books either, because they seemed apologetic and very thin. Fevre has some figures on noble income in his Franche-Comté. The departure point would be G. Roupnel's La Ville et la campagne... (Paris, 1922). Franklin Ford, in Robe and Sword writes: "... there is a pair of articles to which I am deeply indebted: Marc Bloch,"Sur le passé de la noblesse française: quelques jalons de recherche," Annales..., VIII (1936), 366-378, and Henri Carré, "La noblesse de robe au temps de Louis XV," Bulletin de la Faculté des Lettres de Poitiers (1890), 344-355 and 385-394." Ford continues (p. 264): "There are countless histories of the noblesse which cannot be listed here"; and then he mentions E. de Barthélemy, the Comte de Sémainville, C. Louandre, d'Avenel, and Vaissière! The younger generations of social historians simply bracketed all these works, and understandably so, because they seemed self-serving and simple narratives one stage beyond genealogy. However, all these books confirm Carbonell's main thesis, namely, that each class wrote its own history.

Dewald dates the new history of nobles (my term) written in conformity with the perspectives of the Annales... from Robert Forster's The Noblity of Toulouse in the Eighteenth Century, of 1960. Pioneering, indeed, and exemplary in research technique, analysis, and clarity of thought, the careful reading of Bloch, to be sure, but also work with David Spring (not published until 1963), F.C. Lane ­ and more reading of H.J. Habakkuk, G. Lefèbvre, and E. Labrousse, I suspect (my copy is at Panat). What a remarkable leap beyond H. Sée and Augé-Laribé! If recognition of Forster's accomplishment was rapid among social historians, it was slower among the generalists.
While it is true that Goubert, Le Roy Ladurie, and Deyon do not offer much on nobles in their theses, Bluche (1960) and Saint-Jacob (1960) have much more and contribute to the overall problem of understanding nobles. Forster's The House of Saulx-Tavanes appeared in 1971, and J.-P. Labatut on the dukes and peers in 1972. I cannot note all who contributed to the development of the social history of French nobles paradigm (this sounds pretentious, but that is what it is), but the paradigm would be refined and extended quite brilliantly over the decade that saw it framed.
I have never read Gobineau, but Dewald's remark about his anxiety over his noble origins deserves notice, because it is such a pervasive fact that haunts and motivates hundreds if not thousands of individuals across the centuries. A book could be written about this perennial anxiety; others made wild claims and false genealogies, and slept soundly with no anxiety at all!

Adolphe Chéruel not only edited, he wrote a liberal, almost classical-republican history of the fate of urban government in Rouen in the late Middle Ages, before turning to his many volumes on the Fronde and Mazarin. His dictionary of institutions is the ancestor of Doucet, Marion, and Barbiche; his two volumes on Fouquet, his edition of the Mémoires of Olivier Lefèbvre d'Ormesson, and those of the Grande Mademoiselle ­ all this obviously could not be included by Dewald. His narrative would have collapsed into bibliography. But Dewald's important observation about how Tocqueville and Taine had "doubts about the principle of aristocracy itself" is also true of Chéruel.

In summing up, Dewald reaches beyond this particular chapter when he remarks: "Conventional political labels do little to clarify the development of French historical thought," and "twentieth-century scholars continued to wrestle with problems of national identity that their nineteenth-century predecessors had laid out" (p. 182). He then adds that outsiders challenged this consensus, especially Americans. Forster is his prime example, and rightly so; but there is also Porchnev, Lublinskaya, N.Z. Davis, D. Van Kley, J. Bergin, and K.M. Baker. Here Dewald might object that I have changed the frame beyond social history, but in discussing Febvre and Mousnier, Dewald's frame is pretty big.

Before reading the last chapter (on twentieth-century German rural history) I thought that Dewald might have done better to address the debt of such major social scientists as Durkheim, Tardieu, Vidal de la Blache, Gabriel Le Bras, Henri Berr, Mauss, Simiand, and who else ­ to discern whether these founders were as deeply locked into the thought and culture of the nineteenth century as the historians were. An idea for testing this came to mind. I pulled down Febvre's volume of reviews he had selected from his writings in the Annales, published posthumously by Braudel in 1962 (I reviewed this somewhere). I looked at the notes throughout and found very few references to the pioneering social sciences. By contrast, I found articles on Michelet, Sainte-Beuve, et al, that Dewald has helped me expect to find there. In my own notes I find that I had noticed that Febvre was continually objecting to the use of jargon by authors he knew well, including Bloch, who used too much sociological language! (p. 425). In a note Febvre continues: "Et quant à la 'classe' nobiliaire ... Classe juridique? Classe sociologique? Classe de fait? A quoi bon s'encombrer de toute cette scolastique?" And this was about Bloch. Jargon v. non-jargon; social sciences v. literature ­ the confirmation of Dewald's argument is right there. Is Bloch's prose more generally social-scientific than Febvre's?

In the chapter on pre- and post-World-War-II rural history in Germany, Dewald reveals his dismay at continuity. Not a few professors of history remained in their chairs and continued after 1945 the same research projects and perspectives as before 1941. Their early publications were largely reprinted ­ and quite often without substantial change. Dewald implicitly asks: How could they do this with the Holocaust right before them? Continuity from before the war was, perhaps, a way of asserting that they had nothing to do with it. Robert Schneider's work on self-censorship by writers after the Wars of Religion comes to mind here. The Saint Bartholomew's Day massacres were nowhere near as extensive or costly in lives as the Holocaust, but they took place right in the streets and in the hallways of houses. The climate of fear that it could all start up again was also there, despite Henri IV's attempt to silence fanatical priests. In postwar Germany it was perhaps not so much self-censorship as continuity in shock. The research on the confrontations and assimilations of Germans in rural Eastern Europe communities splintered in various ways, but one of the most important involved the role of the state-cameralist, law and administration providing and sustaining communities of Germans ­ an imperialism in Eastern Europe. Did the state provide the wedge for vitality, individual family success, or did success spring from "nature" or "character"?

 Dewald's discussion of all these issues is perhaps too brief to permit a deeper understanding of how historians refracted their world onto peasant communities of an earlier period. The racism is there, and so is the effort inevitably to mitigate guilt by researching atrocities against Germans by East Europeans. These atrocities happened, but historians from Germany during and after World War II are on thin moral ground in emphasizing them.

Dewald presses too hard, perhaps, to discern general conclusions such as German historians finding agency in German peasants, and French historians finding passivity (p. 207), on the basis of comparing rural societies so different in time and place, given the richness and the complexity of all the studies on the subject. Parenthetically, neither Conze nor Franz made it into the revised edition of Herbert Heaton's Economic History of Europe (1948), though there is considerable bibliography (in German) on rural history (C. Buchenberger, R. Stein, S. von Waltherhausen). A. Gershenkron's Bread and Democracy in Germany came out in 1943! It might have been more interesting for the general theme of the book to compare Conze's (et al.) vast history-of-concepts project with Febvre's massive encyclopedia project.

But I must confess that comparisons of this, or of almost any other sort, usually disappoint me. In the wonderful history-of-private-life conference sponsored by the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin in 1983, under Elias and Ari¨¨s's direction, it was clear that colleagues from Germany were particulaly eager to establish precise conceptual tools. They believed they could advance historical understanding by working out concepts. The French threw up their hands and proposed that concepts would gradually become more specific by archival or some other type of research. We could find no equivalent in German for the word espace as socially neutral. All agreed that raum would not do.

And among the bévues that we all commit, books, especially theses, tend to be the basis for research and writing about a scholar. Take an example outside Dewald's frame: Georges Lefèbvre is immediately thought of as a historian of peasants and the Great Fear, but he says so much about rural nobles in "The Murder of the Comte de Dampierre" through the case study of one aberrant, harsh, and abusive aristocrat. (This is translated in Jeffrey Kaplow's New Perspectives... of 1965. We immediately think of historical demography, Beauvais, and the peasants in that region when Goubert comes to mind, but not his general mise au point, "Sociétés rurales françaises du XVIIIe siècle: vingt paysanneries contrastées...," published in the Hommage à Ernest Labrousse, Conjoncture économique, structures sociales.....

Braudel's enormous talent as rh¨¦teur has already been noted. Here is an example from the Note Liminaire in Combats pour l'histoire about Bloch and Febvre. Note the national pride, the metaphor of battle, and the affective bonds:

Le lecteur retrouvera avec un rare plaisir cette prose alerte, juvénile, intacte, heureuse, toujours pleinement vivante, cette joie de connaître, de d¨¦passer les murs ou les bornes de jardins classiques, de tourner les obstacles ou mieux de les franchir d'un bond.

Nombreux seront aussi les historiens qui, au travers de cette prose magnifique, entendront à nouveau une voix que nul n'a oubliée ­ une voix chaleureuse, confiante, amicale. Batailleur, certes, mille fois pour une, Lucien Febvre plus encore a été bon camarade et on prince, d'une infinie richesse de coeur, d'une fidélité sans faille comme son courage, comme l'amour qu'il portait à son métier ...

Avec Marc Bloch, Lucien Febvre a créé cette histoire neuve, révolutionnaire en esprit, qui anime toute l'Ecole française, établit son prestige qui aujourd'hui, peu à peu, débordé nos frontières, très au loin, aussi bien en Amérique qu'au Japon ou dans les pays soviétiques. Cette création alors fut une bataille. Cette publication en porte témoignage. Qu'elle soit aussi un gage nouveau, non le dernier, de notre fidélité!

The word "style" has little conceptual force these days; but if it had more, it would be possible to assert that continuities in styles of thought and writing in literary culture are what Dewald has discerned. I thank him for giving me many hours of stimulating reading and writing.