Abstract

On 21 January 1763, a wealthy nobleman staged a performance of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Devin de village at his Parisian townhouse. The soirée was attended by military and financial elites. After the curtain fell, several of the master's servants were joking with each other backstage. When the coachman dropped his trousers and displayed his buttocks to a young black page, the latter abruptly raised the curtain to expose the coachman's bare rump to the remaining elites in the room. Their master then called the neighborhood police to arrest the coachman. This article explores issues of social distinction, race, and state authority raised by this incident.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 279-308
Launched on MUSE
2007-01-03
Open Access
No
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