A compelling story in three chapters in which Exploratory Data Analysis is deployed to resolve the question:
Can a laudatory biography of an
eighteenth-century French farmer,
written by his adoring son, shed any light at all on the real lives of French peasants?
La Vie de Mon Père, 1779, by Nicolas Restif de la Bretonne
Site created by Robert M. Schwartz, Professor of History, Mount
with many thanks for advice and assistance from Harriet Pollatsek, Professor of Mathematics;
Nancy Birkrem, Special Collections Librarian; Lee Bouse, photographer; Farah Khan '98 and Jessica Liese '01.
This work was supported by NEH-NSF award EW-20327 for "Science and Humanities: Integrating Undergraduate
Education," under the title "Mathematics Across the Curriculum." My research in France was generously
supported by an NEH Fellowship and a Research Grant from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation.