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  • Monday, February 4, 2019 - 5:15pm to 7:00pm

Class of 1978 Pavilion, 6th floor, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library

We will be welcoming Maurice Samuels for a talk entitled: “Sympathetic Ink: Reflections on the Writing Portfolio of the Duchesse de Berry.” Maurie writes:

In 1832, the duchesse de Berry launched a civil war against the French government to reclaim the throne for her son.  She was betrayed by her trusted confidant, a convert from Judaism named Simon Deutz, giving rise to modern France's first antisemitic "affair."  This talk examines how the duchess attempted to encode her voluminous correspondence using a variety of methods, including invisible ink.  I ask what her various encryption techniques have to tell us about the events that led to the fall of the French monarchy and the rise of modern antisemitism. 

Maurice Samuels taught at Penn from 2000-2006 before moving to Yale University.  He is currently the Betty Jane Anlyan Professor of French at Yale.  He is the author of The Spectacular Past: Popular History and the Novel in Nineteenth-Century France (2004), Inventing the Israelite: Jewish Fiction in Nineteenth-Century France (2010), and The Right to Difference: French Universalism and the Jews (2016).  He also directs the Yale Program for the Study of Antisemitism. 

All are welcome! Those who do not hold University of Pennsylvania ID cards should bring another form of photo identification in order to enter the library building.