Introduction
Ceremony in history
in Death and the crown
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The image of Louis XIV and his court overshadow our understanding of eighteenth-century France. Rethinking the court society is a vital part of revising our interpretations of absolutist government in this period: a new understanding of royal ceremony is one part of this. This chapter challenges the neo-ceremonialist understanding of French royal ritual in the light of French scholarship questioning the relevance of the 'two bodies' model to the French monarchy and highlighting Marc Bloch's idea of 'marvellous royalty'. The relationship between ceremony and power lies at the heart of these questions.

Death and the crown

Ritual and politics in France before the Revolution

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