The Smile Revolution: In Eighteenth-Century Paris

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en Limba Engleză Carte Paperback – 09 Mar 2017
You could be forgiven for thinking that the smile has no history; it has always been the same. However, just as different cultures in our own day have different rules about smiling, so did different societies in the past. In fact, amazing as it might seem, it was only in late eighteenth century France that western civilization discovered the art of the smile. In the 'Old Regime of Teeth' which prevailed in western Europe until then, smiling was quite literallyfrowned upon. Individuals were fatalistic about tooth loss, and their open mouths would often have been visually repulsive. Rules of conduct dating back to Antiquity disapproved of the opening of the mouth to express feelings in most social situations. Open and unrestrained smiling was associated with theimpolite lower orders. In late eighteenth-century Paris, however, these age-old conventions changed, reflecting broader transformations in the way people expressed their feelings. This allowed the emergence of the modern smile par excellence: the open-mouthed smile which, while highlighting physical beauty and expressing individual identity, revealed white teeth. It was a transformation linked to changing patterns of politeness, new ideals of sensibility, shifts in styles of self-presentation - and, notleast, the emergence of scientific dentistry. These changes seemed to usher in a revolution, a revolution in smiling. Yet if the French revolutionaries initially went about their business with a smile on their faces, the Reign of Terror soon wiped it off. Only in the twentieth century would the white-tooth smilere-emerge as an accepted model of self-presentation. In this entertaining, absorbing, and highly original work of cultural history, Colin Jones ranges from the history of art, literature, and culture to the history of science, medicine, and dentistry, to tell a unique and untold story about a facial expression at the heart of western civilization.
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ISBN-13: 9780198715825
ISBN-10: 019871582X
Pagini: 256
Ilustrații: 48 black & white halftones
Dimensiuni: 134 x 216 x 16 mm
Greutate: 0.31 kg
Editura: Oxford University Press
Colecția OUP Oxford
Locul publicării: Oxford, United Kingdom


'Colin Jones knows as much about eighteenth century France as any man alive, and in this study he brings together his prodigious learning and robust curiosity to produce a book that should bring a smile to even the most sullen scholarly face ... Jones tells [his] tale with tremendous insight and wit, drawing on his knowledge of an astonishing array of disciplines and sub-disciplines, from the history of medicine to the history of art.
... the book... is, among other things, a secret history of dentistry and, because of Jones's wit and erudition, one simply can't imagine the topic being more fascinatingly handled.
...entertaining and highly readable
an important contribution to the history of medicine as well as the history of the emotions...It is immensely readable
The most intriguing sections of Jones's book examine the establishment of dentistry as a medical science and respectable profession in the 18th century.
highly readable, intelligent, unpretentious and even mischievous book... Jones's ingenious and puckish book, poised between high culture and pop psychology, is both entertaining and informative
Politics, literature, dentistry and art are wrapped up in a brilliant piece of scholarship.
fascinating exploration
Fascinating book
It is, in short, an inspiring work by a master of the field.
A combination of impressive learning and entertaining wit
In just 180 pages, Jones manages to be brilliant about painting, French literature and history, the sociology of emotional expression, and the hucksterish early history of the dental profession.
The most original approach to history in years ... [Colin Jones] had written one of the most absorbing and unusual history books imaginable
immensely readable
The subject of Jones's book may seem recondite, but it is a fascinating mouthful. In mixing dental minutiae, sweeping social history and vivid detail to show why the smile was no laughing matter but something both mutable and meaningful he has written one of the most absorbing and unusual history books imaginable.
compelling Cheshire cat of a book
ingenious and puckish book
a marvellous, engaging and constantly enlightening study
The Smile Revolution is an education and an entertainment ... Colin Jones drills into his subject with wit, clarity and a fine theatrical flourish.
The intriguing untold story of how we learned to smile.
You will never look at an eighteenth-century portrait in the same way after you read these pages so filled with verve, wit, and insight. Colin Jones accomplishes the extraordinary feat of changing our view of the ordinary by showing us how teeth, smiles and laughing all gained profound significance.
Readers of this witty, engaging study, which wears its wide-ranging scholarship lightly, will certainly find it impossible to keep a straight face.
It is a joy to read ... The book is innovative and interdisciplinary in the extreme, combing social, cultural, economic, political and medical history in such a way as to make connections appear entirely natural, and bringing such traditional fields together with the new methodologies of the history of the emotions. It is, in short, an inspiring work by a master of the field.

Notă biografică

Colin Jones is Professor of History at Queen Mary University of London. He has published widely on French history, particularly on the eighteenth century, the French Revolution, and the history of medicine. His many books include The Medical World of Early Modern France (with Lawrence Brockliss, 1997), The Great Nation: France from Louis XV to Napoleon (2002), and Paris: Biography of a City (2004: winner of the Enid MacLeod Prize). He is aFellow of the British Academy and Past President, Royal Historical Society.