The world of illegal publishing in eighteenth-century France was large and varied, taking in the greatest works of Voltaire, Rousseau, Montesquieu, and Diderot, as well as the scandalous books of grub street writers. Here we have a map of that world, constructed by Robert Darnton based on his many years of research in the field. Darnton shows us the scope of this literary underground with a complete bibliography of the hundreds of books that circulated "under the cloak." He documents their geographical distribution throughout France, and measures the levels of demand for these books. By ranking these levels of demand he compiles a bestseller list of illegal books, with surprising results. Having thoroughly mined the sources, Darnton provides a trove of information on the illegal literature of Old Regime France. The result is an invaluable resource to specialists in French cultural history, the history of the book, the social history of ideas, and problems of censorship and state control of ideas.
Literature-Fiction, History-Criticism, Criticism-Theory,