Skip to main content
Back to Results
Cover image of Contested Paternity

Contested Paternity

Constructing Families in Modern France

Rachel G. Fuchs

Publication Date
Binding Type

Winner, 2009 J. Russell Major Prize, American Historical Association

Winner, 2009 Frances Richardson Keller-Sierra Prize, Western Association of Women Historians

Winner, 2008 Charles E. Smith Award, European History section of the Southern Historical Association

This groundbreaking study examines complex notions of paternity and fatherhood in modern France through the lens of contested paternity. Drawing from archival judicial records on paternity suits, paternity denials, deprivation of paternity, and adoption, from the end of the eighteenth century through the twentieth, Rachel G. Fuchs reveals...

Winner, 2009 J. Russell Major Prize, American Historical Association

Winner, 2009 Frances Richardson Keller-Sierra Prize, Western Association of Women Historians

Winner, 2008 Charles E. Smith Award, European History section of the Southern Historical Association

This groundbreaking study examines complex notions of paternity and fatherhood in modern France through the lens of contested paternity. Drawing from archival judicial records on paternity suits, paternity denials, deprivation of paternity, and adoption, from the end of the eighteenth century through the twentieth, Rachel G. Fuchs reveals how paternity was defined and how it functioned in the culture and experiences of individual men and women. She addresses the competing definitions of paternity and of families, how public policy toward paternity and the family shifted, and what individuals did to facilitate their personal and familial ideals and goals.

Issues of paternity and the family have broad implications for an understanding of how private acts were governed by laws of the state. Focusing on paternity as a category of family history, Contested Paternity emphasizes the importance of fatherhood, the family, and the law within the greater context of changing attitudes toward parental responsibility.

Reviews

Reviews

Fascinating in every particular... One of the most important aspects of Contested Paternity is the way in which Fuchs uses the history of paternity suits as a way to analyze changing attitudes towards fatherhood, motherhood, and childhood.

A compelling study that examines the epochal shift in French fatherhood over the past two centuries.

Accessible and of interest to readers from a variety of disciplines and interdisciplinary junctures.

Through her comprehensive study of paternity suits and the impact of banning them from 1804 and 1812, Rachel Fuchs has produced a tour de force on the history of family law in France from the eighteenth century to modern times.

[Fuchs] effectively links battles over paternity and parental responsibility to wider political developments... highly recommended.

See All Reviews
About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6.125
x
9.25
Pages
368
ISBN
9780801898334
Illustration Description
14 b&w photos
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Families and the Social Order from the Old Regime to the Civil Code
2. Seduction and Courtroom Encounters in the Nineteenth Century
3. Find the Fathers, Save the Children

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Families and the Social Order from the Old Regime to the Civil Code
2. Seduction and Courtroom Encounters in the Nineteenth Century
3. Find the Fathers, Save the Children, 1870–1912
4. Courts Attribute Paternity, 1912–1940
5. Families Dismantled and Reconstituted, 1880–1940
6. Paternity and the Family, 1940 to the Present
Epilogue
Notes
Works Cited
Index

Author Bio
Resources

Additional Resources