Alain Corbin  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Alain Corbin (born 1936) is a French historian, specialist of the 19th century in France. He is the author of The Foul and the Fragrant: Odor and the French Social Imagination (1982).


Trained in the Annales School, Corbin's work has moved away from the large-scale collective structures studied by Fernand Braudel towards a history of sensibilities which is closer to Lucien Febvre's history of mentalités. His books have explored the histories of such subjects as male desire and prostitution, sensory experience of smell and sound, and the 1870 burning of a young nobleman in a Dordogne village.


  • Les filles de noce: Misère sexuelle et prostitution au XIXe siècle
  • Le miasme et la jonquille: L'odorat et l'imaginaire social, XVIIIe-XIXe siècles
  • Le territoire du vide: L'occident et le désir du rivage (1750-1840)
  • Le cloches de la terre: Paysage sonore et culture sensible dans les campagnes au XIXe siècle
  • Le monde retrouvé de Louis-François Pinagot: Sure les traces d'un inconnu (1798-1876)

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