Pleasures of the Belle Epoque: Entertainment and Festivity in Turn-Of-The-Century France

Charles Rearick, Author Yale University Press $40 (239p) ISBN 978-0-300-03230-7
The period known as la belle epoque in France (18801914) was not as uniformly belle as it is traditionally characterized, argues Rearick, history professor at the University of Massachusetts. Leisure time was not copious (the 12-hour workday for men was legal until 1904). But, as this study demonstrates, leisure activities were on the increase: cafes proliferatedby 1900, Paris boasted the highest concentration of drinking places in the worldas well as dance halls, skating rinks, casinos. The notion of ""gaiety'' was adopted as a kind of battle-cry by some, including the Marxist author of a tract titled ``The Right to Be Lazy,'' which condemned the work ethic and the repressed condition of workers. This social history, large in format and with 78 illustrations (eight in color) covers the rise of Montmartre as a pleasure district, the histories of the more notable boites of the day (Folies-Bergere and Moulin Rouge among others), the popularity of bicycling, etc. January 15
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 239 pages - 978-0-300-04381-5
Show other formats
Discover what to read next