The human heritage:

To discover the famous characters of our communities.:
At Vendeuvre-du-Poitou different heritages meet themselves. First there is the built heritage (the Church Saint Aventin, the château des Roches), the archaeological heritage (the Gallo-Roman site of Les Tours Mirandes), the natural heritage too and the human heritage, which is less known but attracts by its local famous characters.
 
1- Michel Foucault      
2- Aristide Raguit        
3- Raoul Peret    
4- Rodolphe Salis        
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    1- Michel Foucault : 
A great philosopher
Dutch, Argentine, Japanese, and American people and other people come to commune with the grab of this great philosopher, Michel Foucault, and see places where he lived a part of his childhood.
 
Michel Foucault was born on October 15th, 1926, n°10 Arthur Ranc Street in Poitiers, down the big post office, at the corner of the boulevard of Verdun. He passed his holidays in Vendeuvre-du-Poitou in the family house: “Le Piroir” with his sister and his brother, Francine and Denys. “He always gave me his August month” said his mother, Anne, born with the name Malapert. She was known in Vendeuvre-du-Poitou because she was the President of the Club de l’Amitié (Friendship Club). Michel Foucault’s father, Paul Foucault, and his two grand-fathers, Foucault and Malapert, were surgeons.
 
He was born into a wealthy family; they passed all their holidays in Vendeuvre-du-Poitou and took refuge there when their house in Poitiers has been occupied by German officers during the Second World War. Michel Foucault (Paul was his real name like his father) studied first at the secondary school of Henri IV in Poitiers, then at the secondary school Saint Stanislas, then at the secondary school Henri IV in Paris and studied in Normal Sup. His father wanted him to study medicine but he preferred psychology and philosophy. However his brother perpetuated the tradition studying medicine. Michel Foucault was fascinated by a visit at the Institute of Larnay in Poitiers where he met Marthe Heurtin, a deaf, dumb and blind woman. According to his brother it was maybe at this moment that Michel Foucault studied psychiatric and prison imprisonment, alienation and marginalization. He began his professional life teaching at the Uppsala University in Sweden then in Poland and in Germany too.
 
When he came back to France he taught in Clermont Ferrand. In 1961 he published his doctorate thesis called “History of crazy during classic age”, which is like a bomb into the intellectual profession. In Mai 1968 he demonstrated with Jean-Paul Sartre and Yves Montant. He became teacher at the Collège de France and his courses were followed by enthusiast students.
 

His major works: 
·         The Archaeology of Knowledge
·         Discipline and Punish
·         The History of Sexuality
·         Madness and Civilization
·         The order of Things
·         Sexual Morality and the Law

His biography includes many texts
In 1984 he fell sick and died because of the AIDS disease. Hundreds people, among several famous people, paid him tribute at the hospital of La Pitié Salpétrière, before his private burial at the cemetery of Vendeuvre-du-Poitou on June 29th, 1984.
 
Some of his oeuvres have been translated in more than 60 different languages. You could find some of his books at the tourist information office in Vendeuvre-du-Poitou because Denys Foucaut gave some copies to us. You could even find a biography and keep a photocopy. Let’s finish his story with a citation of this great man, who refused the title of philosopher.
 
“I am a pyrotechnician (…). I am not for the destruction but I am so that we can move forward and bring down walls (…). I consider my books as mines, packages of explosives”.
 
 
 
    2- Aristide Raguit : 
A child from a missionary country in Manchuria
Friday, January 23rd, 2009 Mister Jacques Bouquet, a historian living in Neuville-de-Poitou, presented a conference about Aristide Raguit, an inhabitant of Vendeuvre-du-Poitou. He was born on December 16th, 1842 and his family lives Chefdeville Street.
 
He studied in the little seminary of Montmorillon before being sent to the seminary of foreign missions of Paris. On July 07th, 1872 he took on board in Marseille for a long trip to China through the Canal of Suez. At his arrival he discovered Manchuria, a province in North of China, which is twice bigger than France. The climate is hard, Siberian temperature in winter and warm in summer. The main inhabitants are Buddhist. Aristide was nominated on the West region, he also occupied first administrative functions but he is quickly sent to the North region, where nomadic populations live in needy. Despite his nostalgia for Vendeuvre-du-Poitou, his mother-land (see citation down), he put all his energy to evangelize, build schools and an apothecary. He built especially the first school for girl in the region. He died in 1889 without never seeing his family and the region Poitou again.
 
“Despite the layer of snow, the aspect of Mongolia delighted me the sight. Clumps of trees are more numerous there than in South, and its wavy ground remembered me our dear Poitou. One morning, I arrived on the top of a hillside…I furled eyes: imaginating, I removed the snow, the hoarfrost and the cold and, I had in front of me this panorama so liked by Vendeuvre we contemplated so often, my dear brother and I, down from the hills of Chatenay."
 
(Letter to his parents, 05/04/1881; extract from Jacques Bouquet’s book: “Missionnaires Poitevins”).
 
 
 
    3- Raoul Peret : 
Minister and Mayor of Vendeuvre-du-Poitou
Vendeuvre-du-Poitou counts him as its more famous characters.
 
Raoul Péret was born in Châtellerault on November 29th, 1870; his father was a magistrate at the court of Poitiers. Raoul Péret studied law at the University of Poitiers and finished his studies in Paris. When he was 31 years old he has been elected general councillor of the canton of Neuville-de-Poitou, then in 1902 he has been elected for the first time at the chamber of deputy and Mayor of Vendeuvre-du-Poitou (where his family possesses some properties). In 1920 he has been elected President of the chamber of deputy, then Senator of La Vienne.
 
So he sat to the republican and democratic left side. Gaston Doumergue, president of the Council, named him to the Home Office, and then he becomes Minister of Trade, industry and P.T.T. He became Minister of Justice under several Governments for short periods.
 
It is at this post in 1930 that he is affected by a financial scandal: "the affair Oustric ". He compared in the Senate constituted by the Haute Cour de Justice, which acquits him because of absence of sufficient proofs.
 
But his national political career is done. So he left Paris and took refuge in the canton of Vendeuvre-du-Poitou where he dies in 1942.
 
In the 20’s he was very popular, the newspaper “L’Avenir de la Vienne” (The future of la Vienne) talks about him in this terms. “His lighted patriotism, the purity of his patriotic convictions, his important moral value, the distinction and the rise of his thoughts…” He could finish his brilliant  career has President of the Republic but only the commune of Vendeuvre-du-Poitou paid tribute to him baptising the central place of the village with his name.
 
 
 
    4- Rodolphe Salis : 
“Le chat noir” in Montmartre
Louis Rodolphe Salis was born in Châtellerault on Mai 29th, 1851 and died in Naintré in 1897. After his military service, he went to Paris and opened a cabaret called “Le chat noir” (“the black cat”) in Montmartre.
The wine was of poor quality as well as the decoration, but quickly the place welcomed artists, who haunted Paris streets, and it became famous.
Singers and artists occurred on a very free tone for this time. Rodolphe Salis even made a tour through France. He lived at the manor house of Vauguyot (16th century) in Marigny-Brizay. A street in Marigny-Brizay has Rodolphe Salis's name.
 
 
 
 

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