Corry Cropper Poaching and Regional Identity during the Third Republic Maurice Genevoix's Raboliot Place au braconnier, type vrai, fécond, national, dépouille de l'héritage de ses pères les anciens Gaulois, et dont chaque jour il essaye de ressaisir les glorieuses bribes d'indépendance et de liberté! --Adolphe D'Houdetot 18621 Poaching has long held an important place in the French imagination. Well before Walter Scott's or Pierce Egan's novels about the infamous poacher Robin Hood, Robin and Marion appeared in a thirteenthcentury French text by Adam de la Halle. Edicts from the court of Henri IV (similar to those published in the early sixteenth century by François I) made it a crime--punishable by flogging and banishment--to touch pheasant, quail, or partridge eggs found even on one's own property. And hunting deer or wild boar without appropriate authorization was punishable by flogging ("seront battus de verges sous la custode jusques à effusion de sang"), fines, life in the galleys, or even death (the "dernier supplice").2 In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Diderot, Beaumarchais, Sade, Sue, Balzac, and Dumas along with many others, referenced poachers in their novels and essays. For some, poachers are outlaws on a par with murderers and rapists (as
French Forum – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Apr 25, 2012
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