Les Bohémiens (1790), novel promoted by Robert Darnton, now available in translation

The BohemiansReaders will remember the intriguing essay by Harvard History Professor Robert Darnton, “Finding a Lost Prince of Bohemia,” New York Review of Books 55, 5 (April 2008), but with the novel by A.-G. Lafite de Pelleport so difficult to access, it was impossible to appreciate Darnton’s findings. Now we will be able to see for ourselves; the book has recently been issued in an English translation by Vivian Folkenflik, with an introduction by Darnton. Although it is a pity to discover a book through translation, we applaud Darnton’s contribution to the field of revolutionary literature. It sounds like quite a tale, judging from the write-up, which speaks of “outrageous incidents, social commentary and obscenity” of a roving band of indigent philosophers. Check it out yourself on the University of Pennsylvania Press website, read the book, and let us know what you think…

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