1st Edition

Conde in Context Ideological Change in Seventeeth-century France

By Mark Bannister Copyright 2000

    Louis II de Bourbon (1621-86), known as Le Grand Conde, stood alongside Richelieu and Mazarin as one of the key figures who shaped the reign of Louis XIV. In response to profound upheavals in their world, his contemporaries looked to him to satisfy their need for a hero. Originally the warrior-hero par excellence, Conde was redefined by successive generations as the ideal subject of the absolutist state, as the epitome of civilized behaviour and, finally, as the exemplar of the triumph of faith over reason. In this first detailed study in English of Le Grand Conde's significance for his contemporaries, Mark Bannister reveals the complexity of the ideological patterns forming and reforming in seventeenth-century France, and the perennial need to believe in the existence of an iconic figure, incarnating new values as they emerge.

    Introduction; I: The Old Order; 1: A Need for Heroes; 2: The ‘Natural’ Order of the State; 3: Freedom and Social Order; II: The Fronde: A Seismic Shift; 4: Confrontation; 5: Political Alternatives; 6: Rebellion; III: Towards a New Order; 7: Absolutism Imposed; 8: Heroism Refined; 9: Heterodoxy Neutralized; Conclusion


    Mark Bannister