Robert Darnton

Robert Darnton is a professor at Harvard University and a leading cultural historian. His expertise includes 18th century France and more recently, the history of the book. He is the founder of the Gutenberg e-program. Literary Historian.

“The peasant of early modern France inhabited a world of step-mothers and orphans, of inexorable, unending toil, and of brutal emotions, both raw and repressed.The human condition has changed so much since then that we can hardly imagine the way it appeared to people whose lives really were nasty, brutish, and short. This is why we need to reread Mother Goose.”

— Robert Darnton, The Great Cat Massacre