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The Return of Martin Guerre. The Return of Martin Guerre. Looking Into the Past. Opposite of Carlo Ginzburg, Natalie Davis is a great believer in the possibility of “multiple truths” co-existing besides one another

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Presentation Transcript
looking into the past
Looking Into the Past
  • Opposite of Carlo Ginzburg, Natalie Davis is a great believer in the possibility of “multiple truths” co-existing besides one another
  • Davis brings to light the life of Martin Guerre by using “invention…held tightly in check by the voices of the past”
a family on the move
A Family On The Move
  • No inhabitants of Artigat paid manorial dues or owed any services to a seignior
  • The Guerres developed enough writing skills to keep simple financial accounts, though they never signed business contracts with their names and probably could not read
marriage of martin bertrande
Marriage of Martin & Bertrande
  • The marriage contract of Bertrande and Martin has not survived, but we can assume it was similar to others of its time
  • A cash payment of 50 to 150 livres ($600), and a vineyard west of the Leze called Delbourat
leaving home
Leaving Home…
  • After spending a few years as a lackey for Francisco de Mendoza, Martin passed into the service of his brother Pedro…noticing Martin’s physical prowess, he went with Pedro’s entourage to fight alongside the Spanish army
back home in france
Back Home in France
  • Bertrande was no more than 22 when Martin left, and was unable to go through many of the typical courting rituals she saw her friends enjoy
  • When urged by her relatives to separate from Martin, Bertrande firmly refused
martin s happy return
Martin’s Happy Return
  • When Bertrande saw him, she at first recoiled in surprise…it was only when Martin reminded her of things they had done together and affectionate names they had for each other that she finally started weeping and hugged him
trouble with uncle pierre
Trouble With Uncle Pierre
  • Where Pierre bragged at first, the uncle began to balk when Martin began selling off some inherited land
  • The two finally came to blows when Martin asked Pierre to give him back his inherited bank accounts left to him after his father’s death
  • After bantering about it for two years, in late 1558 or early 1559 Martin brought a civil suit against Pierre before the local judge
two separate events
Two Separate Events…
  • Just when Martin and Bertrande began to feel safe, two separate events flared the situation up again
  • A visiting soldier who had fought with Martin denounced him as a traitor, and Martin himself was jailed on a charge of arson
the second trial
The Second Trial
  • 150 people came to testify…45 against Martin, 40 people for Martin, and another 65 who couldn’t tell
  • Some testimony said Martin was thinner, taller, and darker…a shoemaker said his shoe size was different…the prisoner did not resemble Sanxi but he did resemble Martin’s sisters
guilty as charged
Guilty As Charged?
  • The Criminal Court was one of five chambers of the French parliament
  • The court was made up of a rotating group of ten to eleven judges who would take turns as court president
  • The judge in charge of Martin’s case was Jean de Coras
the real martin guerre
The Real Martin Guerre
  • The real Martin Guerre explained that he had survived having his leg amputated, and thanks to the help of both Francisco and Pedro de Mendoza, he was appointed to the royal court and named a Spanish knight by Philip II
arnaud du tilh
Arnaud du Tilh
  • Passing through Mane along the Salat River one day, he encountered two friends of Martin
  • They took him for the missing man from Artigat, at which point the trickster in Pansette set about learning everything he could about Martin’s life
amende honorable
Amende Honorable
  • Arnaud’s sentence required him to recite an amende honorable, a confession to the family
  • Arnaud commended the judges and pleaded with Martin not to be harsh with Bertrande
  • Arnaud du Tilh was hanged on

September 16, 1560