Contact Us Need Help? Call us 1800-987-323
Explore Departments
  Free shipping Australia wide

Gift in 16th Century France

  • Paperback
Must a gift be given freely? How can we tell a gift from a bribe? Are gifts always a part of human relations — or do they lose their power and importance once the market takes hold and puts a price on every exchange? These questions are central to our sense of social relations past and present, and they are at the heart of this book by one of our most interesting and renowned historians. In a wide-ranging look at gift giving in early modern France, Natalie Zemon Davis reveals the ways that gift exchange is crucial to understanding alliance and conflict in family life, economic relations, politics, and religion. Moving from the king's bounty to the beggar's alms, her book explores the modes and meanings of gift giving in every corner of sixteenth-century French society. In doing so, it arrives at a new way of considering gifts — what Davis calls "the gift register" — as a permanent feature of social relations over time. Gift giving, with its own justifications and forms in different periods, can create amity or lead to quarrels and trouble. It mixes the voluntary and the obligatory, with interested bribery at one extreme and inspired gratuitousness at the other. Examining gifts both ethnographically (through archives, letters, and other texts) and culturally (through literary, ethical, and religious sources), Davis shows how coercive features in family life and politics, rather than competition from the market, disrupted the gift system. This intriguing book suggests that examining the significance of gifts can not only help us to understand social relations in the past, but teach us to deal graciously with each other in the present.
Gift in 16th Century France
$46.64 + free shipping
Ships from USA
Expected delivery Dec 16 – Dec 20
Must a gift be given freely? How can we tell a gift from a bribe? Are gifts always a part of human relations — or do they lose their power and importance once the market takes hold and puts a price on every exchange? These questions are central to our sense of social relations past and present, and they are at the heart of this book by one of our most interesting and renowned historians.

In a wide-ranging look at gift giving in early modern France, Natalie Zemon Davis reveals the ways that gift exchange is crucial to understanding alliance and conflict in family life, economic relations, politics, and religion. Moving from the king's bounty to the beggar's alms, her book explores the modes and meanings of gift giving in every corner of sixteenth-century French society. In doing so, it arrives at a new way of considering gifts — what Davis calls "the gift register" — as a permanent feature of social relations over time. Gift giving, with its own justifications and forms in different periods, can create amity or lead to quarrels and trouble. It mixes the voluntary and the obligatory, with interested bribery at one extreme and inspired gratuitousness at the other.

Examining gifts both ethnographically (through archives, letters, and other texts) and culturally (through literary, ethical, and religious sources), Davis shows how coercive features in family life and politics, rather than competition from the market, disrupted the gift system. This intriguing book suggests that examining the significance of gifts can not only help us to understand social relations in the past, but teach us to deal graciously with each other in the present.
Natalie Zemon Davis is Henry Charles Lea Professor of History, Emerita, Princeton University.
Author
Natalie Zemon Davis
Short Title
GIFT IN 16TH CENTURY FRANCE
Publisher
University of Wisconsin Press
Series
Curti Lectures
Language
English
ISBN-10
0299168840
ISBN-13
9780299168841
Media
Book
Format
Paperback
DEWEY
394
Year
2000
Publication Date
2000-10-31
Edition
1st
Pages
200
Residence
Detroit Detroit, NJ, US
Birth
1928
Affiliation
Princeton University
FREE DELIVERY

Delivery is free to any Australian address. No matter where your item is going.

SECURE PAYMENT

We use 100% PCI DSS compliant payment services. That means your payment information is always protected, and never gets seen by anyone.

30 DAY RETURN POLICY

Return any item within 30 days of delivery. It doesn’t matter why you want to return your item, you can free of charge!