Violence and Honor in Revolutionary Perigord cover image

Dr. Steven Reinhardt's new study of regional violence in pre-Revolutionary France

The Department is pleased to announce the recent publication of Dr. Steve Reinhardt's new book Violence and Honor in Prerevolutionary Périgord by the University of Rochester Press.

While it has long been known that late medieval and early modern Europe had high rates of violent crime, historians and scholars across other disciplines have sought an explanation for why society tolerated such high levels of interpersonal violence. Most of our existing explanations focus on the macro level, looking at causes like the rise of the state or the concomitant cultural shift toward civility. In this study, Dr. Reinhardt utilizes a more microlevel, descriptive approach drawing on archival sources (such as interrogations, petitions, and inquests) that vividly convey the texture of ordinary people's everyday experiences.

Using a large sample of court cases from a region poorly integrated into the emerging capitalist economy, the book presents a series of extraordinarily rich narratives illustrating their subjects' understanding of the imperatives of the honor code. Combining careful scholarship with the broader appeal of popular history, Violence and Honor in Prerevolutionary Périgord will interest historians of early modern Europe, legal scholars, and anthropologists of law, as well as students and general readers interested in the history of violence.