Reflections: The Life and Writings of a Young Blind Woman in Post-Revolutionary France (The History of Disability)

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9780814747469: Reflections: The Life and Writings of a Young Blind Woman in Post-Revolutionary France (The History of Disability)

In the 1820s, several years before Braille was invented, Therese-Adele Husson, a young blind woman from provincial France, wrote an audacious manifesto about her life, French society, and her hopes for the future. Through extensive research and scholarly detective work, authors Catherine Kudlick and Zina Weygand have rescued this intriguing woman and the remarkable story of her life and tragic death from obscurity, giving readers a rare look into a world recorded by an unlikely historical figure.

Reflections is one of the earliest recorded manifestations of group solidarity among people with the same disability, advocating self-sufficiency and independence on the part of blind people, encouraging education for all blind children, and exploring gender roles for both men and women. Resolutely defying the sense of "otherness" which pervades discourse about the disabled, Husson instead convinces us that that blindness offers a fresh and important perspective on both history and ourselves.

In rescuing this important historical account and recreating the life of an obscure but potent figure, Weygand and Kudlick have awakened a perspective that transcends time and which, ultimately, remaps our inherent ideas of physical sensibility

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About the Author:

Catherine J. Kudlick is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Davis, and author of Cholera in Post-Revolutionary Paris: A Cultural History.



Dr. Zina Weygand is a researcher at the Laboratoire Brigitte Frybourg pour l'insertion Sociale des Personnes Handicape'es at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Me'tiers in Paris and is author of numerous articles on the history of blind people in France.

From Publishers Weekly:

While glancing through the archives of Paris's Quinze-Vingts Hospital, one of the few schools for blind people in the first half of the 19th century, scholars Kudlick and Weygand came across a fascinating manuscript that had gone unread for more than 175 years. It was a petition for lodging by Husson, a 22-year-old blind woman, to the director of the hospital. Writing with insight, clarity and tenderness, Husson details her experience: the difficulty of eating with guests, the joy of feeling sun on her face, her delight at being able to distinguish percale from chiffon with only a glancing touch. Although Husson wrote in a markedly different time, and some of her advice is charmingly outdated (e.g., all blind youngsters should avoid Voltaire and Rousseau to prevent "overexcited feelings"), the simplicity of most of her observations and her overwhelming sincerity are timeless: "every [flower] that has a sweet odor introduces a feeling into our souls that resembles them." Kudlick and Weygand discuss Husson's later life and novels to give a fuller picture of the young woman, then supply a brief but fascinating glimpse into the role of women, religion, disability and notions of the self in early 19th-century France. As well as discussing the social mores of the time, the authors also plumb the depths of Husson's fiction for additional insight into her perspective specifically and into the experience of blind people generally. Their detective work in finding Husson's novels (published under a pen name) and other early writings on disability is notable and provides a useful background for this valuable work of early feminism and disability studies. 8 b&w illus.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Husson, Therese-Adèle
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Descrizione libro New York University Press, United States, 2002. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the 1820s, several years before Braille was invented, Therese-Adele Husson, a young blind woman from provincial France, wrote an audacious manifesto about her life, French society, and her hopes for the future. Through extensive research and scholarly detective work, authors Catherine Kudlick and Zina Weygand have rescued this intriguing woman and the remarkable story of her life and tragic death from obscurity, giving readers a rare look into a world recorded by an unlikely historical figure. Reflections is one of the earliest recorded manifestations of group solidarity among people with the same disability, advocating self-sufficiency and independence on the part of blind people, encouraging education for all blind children, and exploring gender roles for both men and women. Resolutely defying the sense of otherness which pervades discourse about the disabled, Husson instead convinces us that that blindness offers a fresh and important perspective on both history and ourselves. In rescuing this important historical account and recreating the life of an obscure but potent figure, Weygand and Kudlick have awakened a perspective that transcends time and which, ultimately, remaps our inherent ideas of physical sensibility. Codice libro della libreria AAC9780814747469

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Therese-Adele Husson
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Descrizione libro New York University Press, United States, 2002. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the 1820s, several years before Braille was invented, Therese-Adele Husson, a young blind woman from provincial France, wrote an audacious manifesto about her life, French society, and her hopes for the future. Through extensive research and scholarly detective work, authors Catherine Kudlick and Zina Weygand have rescued this intriguing woman and the remarkable story of her life and tragic death from obscurity, giving readers a rare look into a world recorded by an unlikely historical figure. Reflections is one of the earliest recorded manifestations of group solidarity among people with the same disability, advocating self-sufficiency and independence on the part of blind people, encouraging education for all blind children, and exploring gender roles for both men and women. Resolutely defying the sense of otherness which pervades discourse about the disabled, Husson instead convinces us that that blindness offers a fresh and important perspective on both history and ourselves. In rescuing this important historical account and recreating the life of an obscure but potent figure, Weygand and Kudlick have awakened a perspective that transcends time and which, ultimately, remaps our inherent ideas of physical sensibility. Codice libro della libreria AAC9780814747469

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Therese-Adèle Husson, Catherine Kudlick (Translator), Zina Weygand (Translator)
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Husson, Therese-Adèle; Kudlick, Catherine [Translator]; Weygand, Zina [Translator];
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