Foxcroft Lecture: Policing the Parisian book trade in the Age of Enlightenment
State Library Victoria
In the 2018 Foxcroft Lecture, Chief Curator at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Jean-Dominique Mellot, looks at police surveillance of the written word, the book trade and public opinion in Paris during the Age of Enlightenment.
In 17th century France, King Louis XIV empowered the police force to surveil and dictate what was written, printed and even said in public. In 1749, Joseph d’Hémery, a young inspector in the book police – police du livre – began to document his work.
D’Hémery not only collected official data for his files, but also gathered information from confidences, gossip, spying and questioning. These documents – some of which have now been published – illuminate a fascinating chapter in the social history of the book.
About Jean- Dominique Mellot
Jean-Dominique Mellot is the Chief Curator at the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF), Paris.
Village Roadshow Theatrette
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