The Beggar and the Professor

A Sixteenth-Century Family Saga

Cover Art for 9780226473246, The Beggar and the Professor by Ladurie, Emmanuel Le Roy
ISBN: 9780226473246
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Published: 30 June, 1998
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Editions:
2 other editions of this product
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In The Beggar and the Professor, Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie makes the Platter family the nexus of his fascinating exposition of the 16th century. In and of themselves, the Platter men were intriguing fellows; the fact that they were also prolific writers, filling diaries, memoirs, and correspondence with the details of their lives, makes them a godsend to historians. Following the Platters' paper trail, Le Roy Ladurie fashions an engaging portrait of a remarkable family. Thomas Platter Sr., for example, started life as an unlettered shepherd, spent his childhood roaming central Europe in a gang of thieves and panhandlers, and managed to pick up both literacy and a trade in his travels. By turns a printer, landowner, healer, and teacher, Platter was the embodiment of a Renaissance man. His eldest son, Felix, became a well-respected doctor, as did his youngest surviving boy, Thomas Jr. Using the private lives of the Platters, Le Roy Ladurie illuminates the dangerous times in which they lived. Martin Luther precipitated a violent religious reformation; brigands ran wild through the countryside, and medical students crept into graveyards by night to dig up newly buried bodies for dissection. On this wild ride into history, the author's insightful observations guide the reader unerringly through the customs, practices, and upheavals of the times.

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