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The Blind in French Society from the Middle Ages to the Century of Louis Braille$
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Zina Weygand

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804757683

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804757683.001.0001

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The Beginning of Modern Times

The Beginning of Modern Times

(p.24) Chapter 2 The Beginning of Modern Times
The Blind in French Society from the Middle Ages to the Century of Louis Braille
Stanford University Press

This chapter considers attitudes toward the blind at the beginning of the early modern era. It discusses the evolution of public institutions and the reform of the Quinze-Vingts; the reformers of assistance and work for the blind; and the representations of blindness in fiction and in iconography. The blind during the first years of the early modern era were on the side of misdeed—sin or heresy—and despite the open-mindedness of some humanist authors, blindness remained the object of feelings too ambiguous to produce a real change in the social treatment of those afflicted with it. The Quinze-Vingts remained the sole important institution reserved for the blind poor, and aside from the strengthening of royal authority over the establishment, nothing really new happened with respect to the previous centuries.

Keywords:   blind, blindness, early modern period, Quinze-Vingts, public institutions

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