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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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Groundwork for a History of Blindness in the Classical Age

Groundwork for a History of Blindness in the Classical Age

Chapter:
(p.36) Chapter 3 Groundwork for a History of Blindness in the Classical Age
Source:
The Blind in French Society from the Middle Ages to the Century of Louis Braille
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804757683.003.0004

This chapter first describes how blind mendicants were perceived as completely useless burdens, incapable of being rehabilitated through work. It then considers the work of Father Francesco Lana-Terzi, a professor of letters and a natural sciences and physics enthusiast, who proposed coded writing systems that would allow a blind person to write. This is followed by discussions of the life and work of two men who were blind since birth—Jean de Moulin, the leader of the Carmelite reform known as the “Tourangelle,” a major current of the seventeenth-century French mystical renaissance; and François Malaval, the author of a number of mystical works, the first of which, A Simple Method of Raising the Soul to Contemplation, had considerable success.

Keywords:   blind people, blindness, classical period, disabled, writing, Father Francesco Lana-Terzi, Jean de Moulin, François Malaval

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