Martin Guerre

The Return of Martin Guerre, by Natalie Zemon Davis, is the story of identity theft. Davis tells the story of Martin Guerre, who left his family and disappeared. Years later a man claiming to be Guerre appears and in every way takes the place of Guerre in his family life. Years later the man claiming to be Guerre is suspected of being a fraud and is brought to trial. During the trial the real Guerre returns. This is a true story. However Davis tells it in a fictitious style. Making certain assumptions that lead it more towards being historical fiction. In his criticism of Davis, Robert Finaly notes how Davis tells the story from the perspective of the deception of Guerre’s wife. Finaly believed that Davis made many guesses and that overall her version of the story is not the best retelling of the Martin Guerre story. Davis defends her story by pointing out the way in which she researched and got her information as well as describing how she used her knowledge of the local customs to make the assumptions that she does.

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