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The Blind in French Society from the Middle Ages to the Century of Louis Braille - Stanford Scholarship Online
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The Blind in French Society from the Middle Ages to the Century of Louis Braille

Zina Weygand


The integration of the blind into society has always meant taking on prejudices and inaccurate representations. This anthropological and cultural history introduces us to both real and imaginary figures from the past, uncovering French attitudes towards the blind from the Middle Ages through the first half of the nineteenth century. Much of the book, however, centers on the eighteenth century, the enlightened age of Diderot's emblematic blind man and of the Institute for Blind Youth in Paris, founded by Valentin Haüy, the great benefactor of blind people. The book paints a picture of the blind ... More

Keywords: prejudices, inaccurate representations, blind, Middle Ages, Diderot, Valentin Haüy, benefactor, officially sanctioned beggars, medieval Quinze–Vingts, cloth makers

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780804757683
Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013 DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804757683.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Zina Weygand, author

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Part I From the Middle Ages to the Classical Age: A Paradoxical Vision of Blindness and the Blind

Part II The Eighteenth Century: A Different Look at the Blind

Part III The French Revolution and the Blind: An Affair of State

Part IV Blindness in France in the Early Nineteenth Century: Realities and Fictions

Part V Blindness in the Century of Louis Braille: From Productivist Utopia to Cultural Integration

End Matter