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This is a lively account, based on previously unused material, of the events that marked the troubled relationship among Louis XV, the clergy of France, and the Parlement of Paris in the mid-eighteenth century. The book shows how religious disputes came to divide the French elites, giving rise to a debate about the nature of the monarchy. Using the reports of spies and secret agents, the author describes the deliberations inside the Parlement. He also challenges traditional views about "absolutism" and about the "selfishness" of the parlementaires in their approach to public affairs.Read more
- A stylish, lively, and well-illustrated account of complex issues, with a challenging interpretation of the role of 'absolutism'
- Based on research in private archives, with much new material from spies and secret agents
- Makes an original contribution to our knowledge of the events which led up to the Revolution
Reviews & endorsements
"The primary research is impressive, and Rogister has scoured both public and private archives in order to provide many interesting new details and anecdotes about the daily life preoccupations of the magistrates." American Historical ReviewSee more reviews
"This is a book to make slothful humanity tremble and to stir historians out of complacency. The fruit of twenty years' research, it covers the restricted theme of twenty years of the political relationships between Louis XV and the Parlement of Paris, and is derived almost exclusively from primary sources, mostly manuscript....a book to be savoured." John McManners, Times Literary Supplement
"...remarkably well researched book...a fine corrective to histories which neglect the gradual accumulation of resentments...this remains a work of value, especially for the precision which it brings to legal history. Rogister's intimate knowledge of the composition of the Parlement, its committees, its voting procedurs, and its factions all contribute to our understanding of the period." The Historian
"...a remarkably well-researched book....For the serious student of the period, this remains a work of value, especially for the precision it brings to legal history. Rogister's intimate knowledge of the composition of the Parlement, its committees, its voting procedures, and its factions all contribute to our understanding of the period." Daniel Gordon, The Historian
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- Date Published: July 2002
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521893367
- length: 316 pages
- dimensions: 226 x 154 x 20 mm
- weight: 0.49kg
- contains: 15 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
List of plates
List of figures
List of tables
List of abbreviations
A note on names
1. The background: the Parlement and the King
2. Issues and intrigues, 1741–1747
3. Prelude to crisis: the vingtième and the affair of the hôpital général, 1748–1751
4. Denial of sacraments: the conflict of 1752
5. A decision for the King
6. The crisis of 1753
7. The transfer of the Parlement to Pontoise and the exile of the enquêtes and requêtes, 1753
8. The exile of the grand'chambre and the return of the Parlement, 1753–1754
Conclusion: the 'law of silence', 2 September 1754
Appendix A. Note on the Comte d'Argenson's informants
Appendix B. Two letters of Louis XV on the crisis of 1753.
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