Social France at the Time of Philip Augustus

Social France at the Time of Philip Augustus

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Social France at the Time of Philip Augustus

Social France at the Time of Philip Augustus

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Among the pleasantest experiences of my first visit to Paris was my meeting with M. Luchaire. It chanced that he had taken extensive notes in the provincial archives of France upon the period of Innocent III, a field in which I was interested, and it was to consult him about these that I visited him. His knowledge of English was not much greater than my limited acquaintance with his mother-tongue, and the interview was hardly a success from any standpoint except the humorous. A subsequent conversation by means of an interpreter proved more fruitful, and I came away with what was verily M. Luchaire's treasure,—his manuscript notes, which represented years of patient and costly labor in various parts of France. The boundless kindness and confidence indicated by his intrusting these notes to me, and his subsequent interest in me and my plans, left me with an ardent desire to requite his services. It was not given to me to do so during his lifetime. If, however, I succeed in the following pages in bringing English readers who do not know French to enjoy the work of this charming Frenchman who did not know English, I shall feel that I have in some measure appropriately repaid the debt I owe him.

It is, however, not only, or even chiefly, my personal relations with this French scholar that prompted me to undertake this translation. I am a firm believer in social history, indeed in anything that will bring out the human side of the past. It is for this reason that Luchaire's work appealed to me and that it is now placed before English readers. That the book has its shortcomings I know; that it is prolix in some parts and often repetitious I am fully aware; but that, even as it is, it is worth translating I am confident.

That the translation will meet with the approval of its readers I am not so sure. It is intended to be a faithful rendering of the original, without deviation in any essential. The inequalities in the text are in some measure, no doubt, to be . . .

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