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  • Series: Studies in Early Modern European History x
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The career of Charles d’Albert, duc de Luynes (1578–1621)

Historians relying upon hostile contemporary sources have dismissed Charles d'Albert, duc de Luynes, as an inept mediocrity. Luynes took the oath of office as constable on Friday 2 April 1621 in the long gallery of the Louvre overlooking the Seine. Cardinal Richelieu considered Luynes to be the implacable enemy of the Queen Mother, and blamed him for her quarrel with her son. Cardinal Richelieu, a client of the Queen Mother, despised Luynes whom he savaged in his memoirs in a devastating character assassination that significantly influenced later historiography. This book presents a more positive assessment of his career as a favorite, and long-overdue recognition of his contributions to Louis XIII's government. It provides another look at Luynes untainted by the malice of Richelieu. The occupation of falconer reveals something about Luynes's character; it is said to be like the falconer-patient, goodtempered, shrewd, and inventive with keen eyesight, sharp hearing, a strong voice, and a habit of sleeping lightly. The book discusses the nature of the king's relationship with Luynes as demonstrated by their staging of royal ballets. The book discusses Concini's murder and the Order of Saint Esprit, which became the most prestigious military order in France, as well as the dilemma faced by the court nobility. The siege of Montauban, executed by Luynes is also discussed. The pamphlet attack on Luynes began with the Queen Mother's revolt in 1620. The anti-Luynes attack accelerated with the southwestern campaign against the Protestants, and continued for a year after his death.

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Murder, mayhem and the remaking of the mind, 1750–1830
Author: Elwin Hofman

The making of the ‘modern self’ is one of the grand narratives in the history of the western world. Yet most scholars of the self disregard to what extent common people participated in this history. This book uses five hundred Belgian criminal trial records of murder, sodomy and prostitution cases from between 1750 and 1830 to retell the European history of the self. By means of these unusual sources, the book not only shifts attention towards common people’s changing self-conceptions, but also to the diversity of discourses and practices of the self. The book indicates that, along with conflicting tendencies, there was an increasing stress on inner depth in the interactions in criminal courts after around 1800. This depth was not only important for elites, but also, and sometimes especially, for common people. In five chapters, the book discusses the impact of changing criminal procedures on practices of confession and remorse, the increasing claims people made that their actions were rational and universal, the ways in which they claimed to have ‘lost’ their self by drinking, passion or insanity, the changing displays of tears and sympathy, and talk about human and individual nature.

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The marriage of Tudor England and Habsburg Spain

The co-monarchy of Mary I and Philip II put England at the heart of early modern Europe. This positive reassessment of their joint reign counters a series of parochial, misogynist and anti-Catholic assumptions, correcting the many myths that have grown up around the marriage and explaining the reasons for its persistent marginalisation in the historiography of Tudor England. Using new archival discoveries and original sources it argues for Mary as a great Catholic queen, while fleshing out Philip’s important contributions as king of England. It demonstrates the success and many positive achievements of this glittering dynastic union in everything from culture, music and art to cartography, commerce and exploration. Philip and Mary’s negative reputation derives from a particular version of English identity and reflects confessional differences in early modern English history. The acceptability of Mary’s foreign marriage will continue to reflect the evolving relationship between Britain and Europe, and its cultural politics. Moving from the commercial and strategic interests served by Anglo-Spanish alliances, it analyses the negotiations and marriage contract, Mary’s government, the Act for the Queen’s Regal Power, the Wyatt rebellion, the co-monarchy, gynophobic polemic, court culture and ceremony, bilingual lexicography, portraiture and print, and the historical (mis)fortunes of this glittering dynastic match.

This book explores the Spanish elite’s fixation on social and racial “passing” and “passers” as represented in a wide range of texts produced in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It examines literary and non-literary works that express the dominant Spaniards’ anxiety that socially mobile New Christians could impersonate and pass as versions of themselves. Current scholarship has implicitly postulated that the social energy that led to the massive marginalization of New Christians and/or lowborns from central social spaces, and the marginals’ attempts to hide their true identity, had its roots in the elite’s rejection of sociocultural and genealogical heterogeneity, or “difference.” Christina Lee makes a key intervention in this discussion by proposing that there was a parallel phenomenon at play that might have been as resounding as an anxiety roused by the presence of those who were clearly different, a phenomenon she calls “the anxiety of sameness.” Lee argues that while conspicuous religious and socio-cultural difference was certainly perturbing and unsettling, in some ways, it was not as threatening to the dominant Spanish identity as the potential discovery of the arbitrariness that separated them from the undesirables of society. Students and seasoned scholars of Spanish history and literature will not only benefit from Lee’s arguments about the elite’s attempt to deny the fluidity of early modern identity, but also gain from her fresh readings of the works of Cervantes, Lope de Vega, and Quevedo, as well as her analyses of lesser known works, such as joke books, treatises, genealogical catalogues, and documentary accounts.

Fénelon, Jacobitism and the political works of the Chevalier Ramsay

Andrew Michael Ramsay (1686-1743) was a Scottish Jacobite émigré who spent most of his adult life in France. His political works predominantly relied on a mixture of British and French doctrines to stimulate a Jacobite restoration to the British throne. Ambitious and controversial, Ramsay believed that key reforms and a growing empire would make Britain the ‘capital of the universe.’ His position as an intellectual conduit between the two kingdoms enables an extensive assessment of the political thought in Britain and France. Examining a number of important thinkers from the 1660s to the 1730s, this work stresses the significance of seventeenth century ideology on the following century. Crucially, the monograph explores the exchange of ideas between the two countries in the early Enlightenment. A time when Britain had rejected the absolutist pretensions of James II in the Glorious Revolution (1688) to protect mixed sovereignty and a key role for Parliament. This enshrinement of liberty and mixed government struck a chord in France with theorists opposed to Louis XIV’s form of centralised sovereignty. Following Louis XIV’s death in 1715, greater support for monarchical reform became evident in French political theory. Aided by the viewpoints and methodology of intellectual conduits such as Ramsay, shared perspectives emerged in the two countries on the future of monarchy.

Author: Stephen Miller

Feudalism, venality, and revolution is about the political and social order revealed by the monarchy’s most ambitious effort to reform its institutions, the introduction of participatory assemblies at all levels of the government. It should draw the attention of anyone interested in the sort of social and political conditions that predisposed people to make the French Revolution. In particular, according to Alexis de Tocqueville’s influential work on the Old Regime and the French Revolution, royal centralization had so weakened the feudal power of the nobles that their remaining privileges became glaringly intolerable to commoners. Feudalism, venality, and revolution challenges this theory by showing that when Louis XVI convened assemblies of landowners in the late 1770s and 1780s to discuss policies needed to resolve the budgetary crisis, he faced widespread opposition from lords and office holders. These elites regarded the assemblies as a challenge to their hereditary power over commoners. The monarchy incorporated an administration of seigneurial jurisdictions and venal offices. Lordships and offices upheld inequality on behalf of the nobility and bred the discontent evident in the French Revolution. These findings will alter the way scholars think about the Old Regime society and state and should therefore find a large market among graduate students and professors of European history.