Laughing at Law Codes: A French Tradition – Early Examples

La Constitution  en vaudeville / oeuvre posthume d’un homme qui n’est pas mort, publiée par lui-même, et dédiée a Madame Buonaparte (Paris: Impr. de la Constitution, 1799). This protest against Napoleon’s new constitution shows his consort, the Empress Josephine, carrying the new constitution as she tramples the older ones.

Le Code civil / commenté par Cham; ouvrage destiné aux personnes qui dérsirent avoir des démêlés avec la justice (Paris: Martinet, 185-?). These are the earliest illustrations for the Code Civil. “Cham” was the pseudonym of Charles Amédée de Noé (1818-1879), a noted French caricaturist. there is a French blog devoted to Cham, as well as a Wikipedia article with some basic biographical facts.

 

Detail: “Objection to a marriage.”

“Laughing at Law Codes: A French Tradition,” curated by Mike Widener, is on display through Dec. 20, 2012, in Level L2, Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.

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