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Not long after the priest and the shepherd got into a physical altercation that ended with Tinel beating him with a walking stick. On 7 January Thorel lodged a formal complaint of assault against the priest. He lost the case and ended up out of pocket. It was the accounts provided by the occult explorers Charles Jules, Marquis de Mirville, and Henri Gougenot des Mousseaux, which brought the Cideville affair to wider attention.

The case coincided with the sensational development of spiritualism and table-rapping, and the noisy manifestations in the presbytery, whose origins lay in a classic witchcraft dispute, were assimilated into the educated empiric quest to prove the reality of the spirit world. The case later found its way into the work of the influential occultists Eliphas Levi —75 and the founder of Theosophy Madame Blavatsky — The Cideville affair was, however, by no means an isolated sensation.

Only a few years later, in , hundreds of miles away in the village of Morzine, near the Swiss border, a lengthy outbreak of mass possession attracted considerable attention. One girl said she had been possessed after a witch made her eat some of his bread. A year later the number of females supposedly possessed in the village peaked at around Events in Morzine were reported nationwide, and the case attracted the considerable attention of the medical and clerical professions, as well as the spiritualist movement in the shape of Allan Kardec.

The case highlighted the divisions within the Church regarding participation in such popular manifestations of supernatural belief, with some clergy conducting exorcisms, including some Capuchin missionaries, while others like the government appointee Monsignor Magnin, refused to exorcise and was subsequently beaten up in the church by some villagers. For the medical establishment the mass possession was a classic demonstration of hysterodemonopathy.

Trajectoires d’une ruralité recomposée en Europe centrale

Between and two young boys, this time from Illfurt Illfurth , a village in southern Alsace, began to exhibit the classic symptoms of the possessed. As in so many such cases the origin of the affair lay in a classic witchcraft scenario. The devils naturally expressed their hatred of Catholicism and Napoleon III, but were enthusiastic about Protestantism and the masons.

Its report was inconclusive but the Bishop reluctantly sanctioned an official exorcism, which apparently succeeded.

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His brother died in aged twenty-five. Moving into the twentieth century, exactly one hundred years after the events at Cideville began, a major witchcraft disturbance occurred across the other side of the country in Merlebach, a town on the German border. In November a district of the town was thrown into a state of great agitation by the claims of several people that they had been bewitched by the year-old wife of a Polish immigrant coal miner.

As recorded by the regional press, for several evenings in a row an effigy of the woman was paraded around the neighbourhood in an attempt to drive the couple out of town. The Polish couple made a formal complaint to the police who set about diffusing the tense situation. It was suggested at first that he had reacted badly to vaccination jabs. Noury divided illness into two sorts: those that could be cured by a doctor and those caused by witchcraft and evil spirits. At the beginning of Guy died and their other son Henri fell ill. The witchcraft was evidently directed at the whole family.

For a fee of francs he agreed to visit the Esnaults and put an end to the witchcraft. His mother too, was seduced by the lure of professional magic. Besides, she soon developed other moneymaking sidelines. She also made money by arranging buyers for bewitched land, farms and livestock. Later, she teamed up with a notary clerk from Paris who dispensed financial advice to her bewitched clients. The local press was highly critical of these events and of the activities of the Esnaults, but it was another seven years before the law intervened and suppressed her activities and the cult that surrounded her.

Some of his neighbouring colleagues expressed their concern about her activities and tried to persuade their parishioners from consulting her, but Mauduit maintained a complicit silence, even regarding her very public pilgrimages. The above cases are snapshots of substantial communal expressions of witchcraft and the integral role of the Church in resolving related conflicts, but in the intervening years many other court cases and serious individual incidents occurred.

Assaults on suspected witches were certainly not rare and tragic deaths periodically resulted from such encounters. On 24 January , for example, M. The man openly confessed to the arresting police that he had been bewitched for three years and he had gone to confession in a highly excited state to ask Gouache to take the spell off. When the priest turned away to deal with another matter the man stabbed him. Six years later the assizes at Blois dealt with a case where an old woman suspected of causing a series of agricultural misfortunes on a neighbouring farm was deliberately pushed into a fire to prevent further acts of witchcraft.

The woman burned to death. The farmer was executed and his accomplices sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour. In July a man named Lanzeral, of Beauvais Tarn , shot a neighbour and his son one night believing they had cast a spell upon him. A cunning-man had confirmed as much.


They beat the man so mercilessly that he died from the assault. In February , near Lillebonne, Seine-Maritime, a car was found in the river Seine with the bodies of three people. Police investigations revealed that the driver was a local farmer who had suffered repeated livestock losses. He came to believe he was bewitched, sank into a terrible depression and resolved to kill himself. He took his wife and a farmhand with him to his death. They locked him in his room and beat him with large crucifixes.

He managed to escape and called the police. In the last decade or so those accused of witchcraft have continued to lodge formal complaints with the police. I have been informally notified of at least two such instances in the environs of Le Havre and Rouen during the early s. In May the newspaper Paris-Normandie interviewed the head of police in the small town of Valmont, Seine-Maritime, about witchcraft disputes in the area. They then tried to find a rational explanation for the supposed bewitchment to present to the supposed victims.

In the case of animals they called in the local vet to provide a diagnosis. By way of example, in November the Valmont police dealt with a witchcraft dispute in one of the villages in the surrounding district. She called the police who followed their usual procedure in such matters. The Sueurs accused Dubourg of having cast spells over their farm. Tourism and cultural heritage both constitute social phenomenon whose extension has become global at the moment the agents involved started to make connections between the two.

L'UNESCO et le patrimoine culturel, Défis contemporains

I never got to play it on stage because at the time, I felt I was too immature as a guitar player and was definitely doing all the wrong stuff you were describing here. Keeler, J. This requires the CP — and its predecessors — to respond to a series of external constraints. This name will appear next to your review. Their guns were confiscated and no further disturbance occurred between the two neighbours. However, the Sueurs continued to experience misfortunes. Martin went blind and could no longer drive a tractor or maintain the farm, so two years later the sister wrote a letter to the local authorities beseeching them to stop four of their neighbours from destroying them by witchcraft.

She also complained that the local mayor had refused to help restrain their neighbours. Following the receipt of this letter the local police were once again called in to try and pacify the Sueurs. As well as demonstrating the continued presence of violent witchcraft disputes in provincial France, these examples also highlight the ubiquity of gun ownership in rural French communities over the twentieth century, which contrasts significantly with the situation in England.

They may also help explain the predominance of men in witchcraft-related violence in the period. Turning guns on suspected witches can be seen as an aspect of a continuing strand of French male culture where shooting is not only an important Sunday pastime but also held up as a customary right. It is defended as a key element of a traditional French way of life against the forces of modernity, as represented by environmentalists and the European Union. The wider significance of this observation will become apparent later on. In France, as in England, cunning-folk drove a thriving trade during the second half of the nineteenth century.

While the involvement of such practitioners sometimes averted the violent resolution of witchcraft disputes by providing magical-medical remedies, their service of identifying witches also instigated physical confrontations between witch and bewitched.

Related books and articles

Judith Devlin has provided numerous instances of the activities of cunning-folk culled from the work of folklorists and the Gazette des Tribunaux , but many other court cases were reported in the newspapers of the period, some of which also found their way into the national and regional English press, and even American newspapers.

Mathieu claimed to be able to unbewitch and exorcise evil spirits. One of the cures she employed consisted of burning toads in a cauldron. To cure the seventeen ailing cattle of one farmer she burnt toads in the presence of the locals. In her defence she told the judge that although she charged more than the doctor, she had done them more good. While they could be prosecuted under a variety of laws such as those concerning fraud and public decency, it was the statutes regarding the practice of illegal medicine that were most frequently invoked.

One such victim was Henri Blancher who was arrested in He had no medical training, and claimed that he had received his magical healing gift from an apparition that had appeared to him one day at the age of twelve as he helped serve the Mass. The investigating police commissioner estimated that Blancher gave more than thirty consultations a week and earned the tidy sum of francs a year. Lancelin cited numerous prosecutions from the early decades of the century in which sums of as much as 14, and 30, francs in old money 64 were handed over to specialists to cure witchcraft.

Having given an impression of the depth of the continued belief in witchcraft, and described the limitations of the various disciplinary methodologies, it is time to get back to the central issue of why the belief in witchcraft remained so relevant and so vibrant in twentieth-century France?

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Abstract Gender and class relations combine and interact differently over time, producing configurations that structure individual destinies. On the basis of several biographical surveys of women and heterosexual couples, this paper analyses the reciprocal dynamics of class and gender relations and the way they configure the lives of working-class women and couples. How do these relations interact? We show that sometimes they mutually amplify each other, while in other cases, paths for upward mobility open up in which only a few specific conjugal configurations help reduce gender inequalities.

Abstract An examination of the migration patterns of working-class Comorians sheds light on significant inequalities with respect to mobility, access to emigration and ability to transform geographic mobility into upward social mobility.

Migration thus fosters both mobility and social reproduction within the working classes. As a result, sociological studies seem to have alternated between empirical descriptions and proposals for new paradigms.


Manual Ruralites Contemporaines (Patrimoines et Sociétés) (French Edition)

By giving serious consideration to the third dimension of social space i. It aims to examine the issue of the enlistment of young people from working class urban areas.

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The point is to investigate the connection between their life paths and their engagement decisions. The study not only identifies their motivations and expectations, but it also highlights the resources and diverse strategies used by these actors in order to integrate a highly symbolic institution. Les t Abstract Deindustrialization is driving a generalized recomposition of the working classes. Regions that into the s were still organized around industry have become places of social relegation, especially for youth.

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  6. Young people there are no longer managing to become independent adults chiefly because of a lack of jobs or conceive of plans for their futures, nor can they imagine themselves outside of the immediate area in which they live and their network of friends and family. As a result, they feel trapped by their youth, which causes them to turn in on themselves and their entourage.