Cover: The Literary Underground of the Old Regime in PAPERBACK

The Literary Underground of the Old Regime

Product Details


$33.00 • £28.95 • €30.95

ISBN 9780674536579

Publication Date: 10/15/1985


272 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

5 line illustrations


Add to Cart

Media Requests:

Related Subjects

This is splendid historical writing… Darnton [has] a well-justified reputation as one of the most original contributors to our understanding of life in pre-revolutionary Paris… What Darnton says about the writers is necessary to understanding the revolutionaries. The French Revolution was a continuous conflict between people, as well as a battle of ideas, and anyone who wants to understand the people had better start with the work of Robert Darnton.—Norman Hampson, The New York Review of Books

[Darnton’s] book gives us not only a history of 18th-century publishing but a notion of how the lower orders of literature contributed to the fall of the Old Regime… The reader who wants a glimpse of the world behind a very unusual literature and an enlightening look at a famous time in history will get an eyeful in this surprising and entertaining volume.—Margaret Peters, The New York Times Book Review

Detail is indeed Robert Darnton’s strong suit. He likes to conjure up voices which had been silent for two centuries, to resurrect what he calls (modifying Peter Laslett’s famous phrase) ‘a world that we had lost.’ And how? Not by ‘contemplating philosophical treatises,’ but by ‘grubbing in archives,’ in particular, the rich store of papers from a Swiss publishing house, the Société Typographique de Neuchâtel… Darnton resuscitates a vanished world, and in doing so, like the best historians…produces a literary text of our own time.—Peter France, London Review of Books

Rarely has assiduous, original research (aided and abetted by Darnton’s energetic prose) made for such fascinating reading.—Mark Feeney, The Boston Globe

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Composite photograph showing (top) entrance to the Prudential Center in Boston and (bottom) an internal construction partition/wall printed with the words 'Opening Day 2023' and other decorative text

A New Chapter for Harvard Book Store

Starting in the summer of 2023, for the first time in almost thirty years, Harvard Book Store will have two locations: the flagship store in Harvard Square, and a large new store in the Prudential Center in Boston. For University Press Week we wanted to show some bookseller love, so we reached out to Rachel Cass, General Manager of the Harvard Book Store, to see what’s planned for their exciting new location