Natalie Zemon Davis  

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"In my decades as a historian, I have concentrated on people somehow outside the traditional centers of power or wealth in the early modern period."--Slaves on Screen: Film and Historical Vision (2002) by Natalie Zemon Davis

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Natalie Zemon Davis (1928 – 2023) was an American historian of the early modern period known for books such as The Return of Martin Guerre (1983).

Her work originally focused on France, but it later broadened to include other parts of Europe, North America, and the Caribbean.

For example, her book, Trickster Travels (2006), views Italy, Spain, Morocco and other parts of North Africa and West Africa through the lens of Leo Africanus's pioneering geography.


  • Society and Culture in Early Modern France, Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1975.
  • "Women's History" in Transition: the European Case" pages 83–103 from Volume 3, Issue 3, Feminist Studies, 1975.
  • "Ghosts, Kin, and Progeny: Some Features of Family Life in Early Modern France" pages 87–114 from Daedalus, Volume 106, Issue #2, 1977.
  • "Gender and Genre: Women as Historical Writers, 1400–1820" pages 123–144 from University of Ottawa Quarterly, Volume 50, Issue #1, 1980.
  • "Anthropology and History in the 1980s: the Possibilities of the Past"pages 267–275 from Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Volume 12, Issue #2, 1981.
  • "The Sacred and the Body Social in Sixteenth-century Lyon", pages 40–70 from Past and Present, Volume 90, 1981.
  • "Women in the Crafts in Sixteenth-century Lyon" pagers 47–80, Volume 8, Issue 1, from Feminist Studies, 1982.
  • "Beyond the Market: Books as Gifts in Sixteenth-century France" pages 69–88 from Transactions of the Royal Historical Society Volume 33, 1983.
  • The Return of Martin Guerre, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983.
  • Frauen und Gesellschaft am Beginn der Neuzeit, Berlin: Wagenbach, 1986.
  • "`Any Resemblance to Persons Living or Dead': Film and the Challenge of Authenticity" pages 457–482 from The Yale Review, Volume 76, Issue #4, 1987.
  • Fiction in the Archives: Pardon Tales and their Tellers in Sixteenth Century France, Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1987.
  • "Fame and Secrecy: Leon Modena's Life as an Early Modern Autobiography" pages 103–118 from History and Theory, Volume 27, Issue #4, 1988.
  • "History's Two Bodies" pages 1–13 from the American Historical Review, Volume 93, Issue #1, 1988.
  • "On the Lame" pages 572–603 from American Historical Review, Volume 93, Issue #3, 1988.
  • "Rabelais among the Censors (1940s, 1540s)" pages 1–32 from Representations, Volume 32, Issue #1, 1990.
  • "The Shapes of Social History" pages 28–32 from Storia della Storiographia Volume 17, Issue #1, 1990.
  • "Gender in the academy : women and learning from Plato to Princeton : an exhibition celebrating the 20th anniversary of undergraduate coeducation at Princeton University" / organized by Natalie Zemon Davis ... [et al.], Princeton : Princeton University Library, 1990
  • "Women and the World of Annales" pages 121–137 from Volume 33, History Workshop Journal, 1992.
  • Renaissance and Enlightenment Paradoxes, co-edited with Arlette Farge, Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 1993. Volume III of A History of Women in the West. [Originally published in Italian in 1991.]
  • Women on the Margins: Three Seventeenth-century Lives], Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995.
  • A Life of Learning: Charles Homer Haskins Lecture for 1997, New York: American Council of Learned Societies, 1997.
  • Remaking Imposters: From Martin Guerre to Sommersby, Egham, Surrey, UK: Royal Holloway Publications Unit, 1997.
  • "Beyond Evolution: Comparative History and its Goals" pages 149–158 from Swiat Historii edited by W. Wrzoska, Poznan: Instytut Historii, 1998.
  • The Gift in Sixteenth-Century France, University of Wisconsin Press 2000
  • Slaves on Screen: Film and Historical Vision, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002
  • Trickster Travels New York: Hill & Wang, 2006.


  • Adams, R.M. Review of Fiction in the Archives page 35 from New York Review of Books, Volume 34, Issue #4, March 16, 1989.
  • Adelson, R. Interview with Natalie Zemon Davis pages 405–422 from Historian Volume 53, Issue #3, 1991.
  • Benson, E. "The Look of the Past: Le Retour de Martin Guerre" pages 125–135 from Radical History Review, Volume 28, 1984.
  • Bossy, J. "As it Happened: Review of Fiction in the Archives", pages 359 from Times Literacy Supplement, Issue 4488, April 7, 1989.
  • Chartier, Roger Cultural History Between Practices and Representations, Cambridge: Polity Press, 1988.
  • Coffin, J. & Harding. R. "Interview with Natalie Zemon Davis " pages 99–122 from Visions of History edited by H. Abelove, B. Blackmar, P.Dimock & J. Schneer, Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 1984.
  • Diefendorf, Barbara and Hesse, Carla (editors) Culture and Identity in Early Modern France (1500–1800): Essays in Honor of Natalie Zemon Davis, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1993.
  • Finlay, R. "The Refashioning of Martin Guerre" pages 553–571 from American Historical Review Volume 93, Issue #2, 1988.
  • Guneratne, A. "Cinehistory and the Puzzling Case of Martin Guerre" pages 2–19 from Film and History, Volume 21, Issue # 1, 1991.
  • Le Roy Ladurie, Emmanuel "Double Trouble: Review of The Return of Martin Guerre" pages 12–13 from The New York Review of Books, Volume 30, Issue #20, December 22, 1983.
  • O'Connor, J.E (editor) Images as Artifact: the Historical Analysis of Film and Television, Malabar, Florida: R.E. Krieger, 1990.
  • Orest, R. Review of Women on the Margins pages 808–810 from American Historical Review, Volume 102, Issue #3, 1997.
  • Quinn, A. Review of Women on the Margins page 18 from New York Times Review of Books, December 10, 1995.
  • Roelker, N.L. Review of Fiction in the Archives pages 1392–1393 from American Historical Review Volume 94, Issue #5, 1989.
  • Roper, L. Review of Women on the Margins pages 4–5 from Times Literacy Supplement 4868, July 19, 1996.
  • Snowman, Daniel "Natalie Zemon Davis" pages 18–20 from History Today Volume 52 Issue 10 October 2002.

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