The Devil in the Holy Water, or the Art of Slander from Louis XIV to Napoleon

Robert Darnton explores the scandalous literature of libel and the colorful lives of libelers in eighteenth-century France. By doing so he shows how an ideological current eroded authority under the Old Regime and became absorbed in a new, more radical, political culture under Robespierre.

The Devil in the Holy Water, or the Art of Slander from Louis XIV to Napoleon

Robert Darnton

2009 | 552 pages | Cloth $65.00 | Paper $29.95
History | Literature
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Table of Contents

Introduction

PART I. INTERLOCKING LIBELS
1. The Armor-Plated Gazetteer
2. The Devil in the Holy Water
3. The Parisian Police Unveiled
4. The Secret Life of Pierre Manuel
5. The End of the Line
6. Bibliography and Iconography
7. Reading

PART II. POLITICS AND POLICE WORK
8. Slander and Politics
9. The Book Police at Work
10. A Double Agent and His Authors
11. Secret Missions
12. Hugger-Mugger
13. Entrapment
14. The View from Versailles
15. The Devil in the Bastille
16. Bohemians Before Bohemianism
17. The Grub Street Route to Revolution
18. Slander into Terror
19. Words and Deeds
20. Postscript, 1802

PART III. THE LITERATURE OF LIBEL: BASIC INGREDIENTS
21. The Nature of Libels
22. Anecdotes
23. Portraits
24. News

PART IV. THE LITERATURE OF LIBEL: PRIVATE LIVES
25. Revolutionary Metamorphoses
26. Sex and Politics
27. Decadence and Despotism
28. Royal Depravity
29. Private Lives and Public Affairs

Conclusion
Notes
Index
Acknowledgments