Domestic Service, Migration, and Ethnic Stereotyping

Bécassine and the Bretons in Paris

in Journal of Migration History
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Historians’ attention to timing and the contingencies of history inform this study of the evolution of domestic servants. It explores the case of Breton domestics in Paris from 1880 to after the Second World War, focusing on the change in status and stereotype represented by a popular cartoon character as the belle époque gave way to the interwar period, the migrant group of Bretons in Paris changed, state policy on regional cultures evolved, and the country experienced the two great wars of the twentieth century.

Domestic Service, Migration, and Ethnic Stereotyping

Bécassine and the Bretons in Paris

in Journal of Migration History




Jean Lemoine‘L’émigration bretonne à Paris,’ Science Sociale 17:14 (1892) 39–60 41.


 See for example Ronan Dantec‘Bécassine – Banania, destines croisés,’ Hommes et migrations 1260 (Mars-Avril 2006) 21–28 and Lynch-Brennan The Irish Bridget. Most scholarship on cartoons has focused on political one-frame cartoons since the seminal article Thomas Milton Kemnitz ‘The Cartoon as a Historical Source’ The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 4 (Summer 1973) The Historian and the Arts 81–93.


Caumery and ZierBécassine chez les allies61.


Yves-Marie Labé‘Bécassine débarque,’ Le Monde 27 August 2005; Lehembre Bécassine 32.


ViolainBretons de Paris82.


Henry WulschlegerTout va très bien Madame la Marquise1936; the film included insulting characters of an hotelier who served spoiled fish and a snot-nosed louse-covered child.


Louis Beaufrère‘Les Bretons réagissent vigoureusement contre leurs insulteurs,’ La Bretagne à Paris2 January 1937; idem. ‘Le film indésirable est désormais largement expurgé’ La Bretagne à Paris 16 January 1937.


PeerFrance on Display3. For perspective on the museum see Herman Lebovics Bringing the Empire Back Home: France in the age of gGlobalism (Durham 2004); James Lehning Peasant and French: Cultural contact in rural France during the nineteenth century (New York 1970) 29–30.


LeGuenLa trépidante histoire de Bécassine65.


LeGuenLa trépidante histoire de Bécassine55.


LeGuenLa trépidante histoire de Bécassine66.


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