Le Grand Ferré

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Le Grand Ferré : Premier héros paysan.
Colette Beaune (Auteur)

Until recently the “Grand Ferré” was known to everyone in the French schools. His story was part of the curriculum on the 100 years war, showcasing a brave man of morals, who – abandoned by the elite – showed the courage to defend his own. According to this story some peasants – thanks to the Herculean strength of Le Grand Ferré – succeeded to defeat the English mercenaries, who attacked their village to loot.

France at this time in history was marked by a series of terrible crises characterized by a particularly harsh climate, periods of hunger and starvation and the great plague. At the same time the king was a de facto prisoner of the English while the young regent was challenged by peasant uprisings. In the midst of reporting on all these calamities a mendicant friar born near Compiègne wrote the story down in 1360, thus securing the afterlife of a vibrant myth.

To find the truth behind this French “Robin Hood”, the historian Colette Beaune has conducted delved into the sources. The historian went on site in Picardy, where the popularity of the peasant is still intact. She tracked him down in the oldest archives of an abbey and followed the thread of his story until the 20th century. Century after century The Grand Ferré has played an important part as the symbol par excellence of resistence, whether turned against feudal oppressors or German invaders.

Colette Beaune is Emeritus professor of medieval history at the University of Paris Ouest and Nanterre and a specialist in political history, women’s history and the history of art. She has received numerous prices. For all of her work, Colette Beaune has received the Grand Prix of the French Academy in history – the Grand Prix Gobert 2012.

Le Grand Ferré : Premier héros paysan.
By Colette Beaune
Broché: 386 pages
Editeur : Librairie Académique Perrin (14 mars 2013)
Langue : Français
ISBN-10: 2262028915
ISBN-13: 978-2262028916
€ 23.00

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