Home » Dice, Cards, Wheels: A Different History of French Culture by Thomas M. Kavanagh
Dice, Cards, Wheels: A Different History of French Culture Thomas M. Kavanagh

Dice, Cards, Wheels: A Different History of French Culture

Thomas M. Kavanagh

Published March 25th 2013
ISBN :
Kindle Edition
260 pages
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 About the Book 

Gambling has been a practice central to many cultures throughout history. In Dice, Cards, Wheels, Thomas M. Kavanagh scrutinizes the changing face of the gambler in France over a period of eight centuries, using gambling and its representations inMoreGambling has been a practice central to many cultures throughout history. In Dice, Cards, Wheels, Thomas M. Kavanagh scrutinizes the changing face of the gambler in France over a period of eight centuries, using gambling and its representations in literature as a lens through which to observe French culture. Kavanagh argues that the way people gamble tells us something otherwise unrecognized about the values, conflicts, and cultures that define a period or class. To gamble is to enter a world traced out by the rules and protocols of the game the gambler plays. That world may be an alternative to the established order, but the shape and structure of the game reveal indirectly hidden tensions, fears, and prohibitions.Drawing on literature from the Middle Ages to the present, Kavanagh reconstructs the figure of the gambler and his evolving personae. He examines, among other examples, Bodels dicing in a twelfth-century tavern for the conversion of the Muslim world- Pascals post-Reformation redefinition of salvation as the gamblers prize- the aristocratic libertines celebration of the bluff- and Balzacs, Barbey dAurevillys, and Bourgets nineteenth-century revisions of the gambler.Dice, Cards, Wheels embraces the tremendous breadth of French history and emerges as a broad-ranging study of the different forms of gambling, from the dice games of the Middle Ages to the digital slot machines of the twenty-first century, and what those games tell us about French culture and history.