This is a lively narrative account, based on previously unused material, of the events that marked the troubled relationship between Louis XV, the clergy of France, and the Parlement of Paris in the mid-eighteenth century. The author shows how religious disputes drove a wedge between the King and the leading magistrates of his kingdom, leading to the exile of the Parlement in 1753–4. He describes the way in which legal and procedural conflicts gave rise to a debate about the nature of the Monarchy itself, the exercise of royal authority, and the rights of the subject under the protection of law. Debates inside the Parlement are analysed, using the reports of highly placed government spies and agents, and new light is shed on the part played by the King.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
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'This is a book to make slothful humanity tremble and to stir historians out of complacency … a book to be savoured.' John McManners, The Times Literary Supplement
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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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