Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
Look Inside Fraternity among the French Peasantry

Fraternity among the French Peasantry
Sociability and Voluntary Associations in the Loire Valley, 1815–1914

$175.00 (C)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Historical Geography

  • Date Published: March 1999
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521642132

$ 175.00 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an examination copy?

This title is not currently available for examination. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Using meticulous archival research, Alan Baker challenges the orthodox portrayal of nineteenth-century French peasants as individualists and examines the extent to which they both continued with traditional forms of community action and developed new forms of collective action. More specifically, he examines the development and spread of voluntary associations in Loir-et-Cher, on the southwestern margin of the Paris Basin. He focuses on associations aimed at reducing risk and uncertainty (mainly livestock insurance associations, mutual aid societies, and volunteer fire brigades), and on associations intended to provide agricultural protection.

    • First comprehensive study of an entire set of voluntary associations in a French region during the 'long' nineteenth century
    • Challenges the traditional view of the French peasantry as individualist and explores the conflict between this supposed individualism and the indulgence in old, and new, forms of collective action
    • Meticulously researched, and well-illustrated with 23 halftones and 65 figures/maps
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "This exemplary work of historical geography presents an original interpretation of voluntary associations in French rural society during the nineteenth century that insured peasants against risk...a comprenhensive investigation...Although the empirical evidence for these generalizations is based on archival research in a single department, the book has broad scope and significance for historians as well as geographers...Baker's conjectures about the relationship between cultural change and associational life, which highlight the implications of secularization for attitudes towards risk and insurance, deserve a wide audience among historians of rural France." Ted W. Margardant, Journal of Historical Geography

    "Without doubt, Baker has produced path-breaking work...Fraternity sheds fresh light on the socialization of risk and prompts further questions on the relationship of voluntary associations to earlier fraternities and later political parties. The appearance of this book will be welcomed by all with a specialist interest in the economic and social history of France, and in the contested theme of modernization." Hugh Clout, Economic History Review

    "Alan Baker's book is not simply another local study of the French peasantry during the nineteenth century. By showing how effectively the rural communities of the Loir-et-Cher organized themselves for their mutual protection and evoloved what were essentially early mechanisms of insurance, he questions many of the rather glib statements so often made about peasant individualism." Alan Forrest, History

    "Whilst rooted in a deep and detailed reading of a range of archival material in the department of Loir-et-Cher, the book tells us much about the nature of peasant society in France as a whole. The analysis [of voluntary associations] is thorough and detailed and written with a real understanding of the character of pays and paysan...[An] excellent volume...the knowledge, understanding and empathy displayed in Alan Baker's book gives the reader a real insight into the ways in which a French rural community lived, worked and interacted in the past." Mark Cleary, Rural History

    "Baker's original and lucidly written book carries the authority of skillful, patient research over many years. The results prove that all those hours in the archives at Blois were well worth it. The image of the peasantry that emerges is at once sympathetic and more realsitic than many other accounts provide. Baker's book is a fine contribution to the "revisioning" of the nineteenth-century French peasantry." American Historical Review

    "This is an impressive volume, both from the perspective of political geography and economic and social history... a triumph of scholarly endeavor and perseverance. Baker's search is immaculate, and the empirical findings are lucidly presented...this book makes a welcome contribution...from an economic and social its scholarly and stimulating responses to the various 'myths' about the French peasantry, this fine piece of research indeed demonstrates precisely the opposite." The Journal of Modern History

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: March 1999
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521642132
    • length: 396 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.75kg
    • contains: 23 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Peasants and peasantry in nineteenth-century France
    2. The theory and practice of fraternal association in nineteenth-century France
    3. Loir-et-Cher during the nineteenth century: period, place and people
    4. Insurance societies
    5. Mutual aid societies
    6. Fire-fighting Corps
    7. Anti-Phylloxera syndicates
    8. Agricultural associations
    9. Synthesis: conclusions, comparisons and conjectures.

  • Author

    Alan R. H. Baker, University of Cambridge

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.