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Frères et sœurs du Moyen Âge à nos jours / Brothers and Sisters from the Middle Ages to the Present

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Fabrice Boudjaaba, Christine Dousset and Sylvie Mouysset

Les fratries ont-elles une histoire ? Longtemps oubliées par l’historiographie, elles suscitent aujourd’hui un intérêt grandissant chez les historiens, dont témoigne cet ouvrage collectif riche d’une trentaine de contributions issues de deux colloques internationaux. Mal connus, frères et sœurs tiennent pourtant une place centrale au sein des relations familiales. En privilégiant la longue durée et un vaste ensemble géographique, de l’Amérique du Nord à l’Europe, les éditeurs du volume ont voulu saisir leur histoire en confrontant des systèmes de parenté différents et en perpétuelle transformation. Définir et mesurer les fratries, les analyser comme une ressource en associant stratégies collectives et trajectoires individuelles, vivre et représenter la fraternité enfin : autant de pistes suivies par les auteurs attentifs à ne pas oublier les sœurs. Grâce à la variété des études rassemblées ici, écrire l’histoire du lien fraternel offre l’opportunité de renouveler l’approche de l’évolution des systèmes de parenté en même temps que celle des relations familiales.

Do brotherhood and sisterhood have a history? They have long been forgotten by historiography but now are benefitting from a growing interest from historians. This collective work, with thirty contributions from historians from different countries, testifies to this new interest. Although badly known, brothers and sisters occupy a central place in family relations. By emphasizing the long term and a large geographical area, from North America to Europe, the editors of this volume wish to seize their history by confronting different systems of kinship that are constantly evolving. To define and measure sibling relationships, to analyze them as a resource through the association of collective strategies and individual trajectories, to live and represent brother and sisterhood: these are the paths followed by the authors who have been careful not to forget sisters. Thanks to the variety of the studies assembled here, writing the history of fraternal relations offers the opportunity to renew approaches to the evolution of both kinship and family relations.

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Brothers and Sisters in Court : Sibling Relationships in the Middle and Lower Classes in Early Modern Italy (Turin, 18th century)

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Beatrice ZUCCA MICHELETTO

This paper aims to investigate the impact of the endowment system on the relationships between brothers and sisters in the middle and lower classes in eighteenth-century Turin. During this period the timing and the terms of payment of a dowry were crucial issues capable of involving both the “interests and emotions” of siblings, to quote from the title of a famous book edited in 1984 by David Sabean and Hans Medick1. Research on siblings is quite recent, compared to the study of other intergenerational relationships, such as father/son, mother/children2. Historical demography was possibly the first discipline to acknowledge the place of brothers and sisters in the structure and in the organization of families3 and to study the connections between the composition of the family and the inheritance system. Partible or impartible inheritance, order of birth, sex and marital status markedly affected the apportionment of inheritance between siblings, their expectations and choices in lifestyle, in career paths and so on. For example, where stem-families and impartible inheritance were widespread, unmarried sisters and/or brothers lived in the house of the married brother – the only heir – and contributed to the family’s well-being with ← 363 | 364 → their work and service4. In other situations, younger siblings of both sexes were encouraged to enter a religious career or had to be content with a limited portion of the family estate which often excluded immovable property, the most prestigious symbols of the family5. On the other hand, in some contexts,...

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