Professor Major's aim in these articles has been to stimulate new assessments of the political, constitutional and social history of France in the 15th - 17th centuries. The first group examines the nature of the Renaissance monarchy, its strengths and its weaknesses and lack of effective controls. The next group explores the issue of why the Estates General, and some of the provincial estates, failed to develop in France, in marked contrast to the triumph of representative government in England. Finally, the author turns to the question of how the nobles succeeded in remaining the dominant social class. On the one hand, he traces the evolution of a patron-client relationship which compensated for the decay of the feudal ties of the Middle Ages; on the other, he challenges assumptions made of a decline in nobles' incomes, and contends that, so long as they held on to their lands and could escape the depredations of war, for most of the period they actually benefited from a marked increase in real income.
Contents: Introduction; The Renaissance monarchy; The Renaissance monarchy as seen by Erasmus, More, Seyssel and Machiavelli; Popular initiative in Renaissance France; The third estate in the Estates general of Pontoise, 1561; The assembly at Paris, summer 1575; ; The electoral procedure for the Estates general and its social implications, 1438-1651; The payment of the deputies to the national assemblies, 1484-1627; The loss of royal initiative and the decay of the Estates general, 1421-1615; Henry IV and Guyenne: French representative assemblies; The crown and the aristocracy; Noble income, inflation, and the Wars of religion; Bastard feudalism and the kiss; The revolt of 1620: ties of fidelity; Index.
The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.
The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.
Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource.
For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at Michael.Greenwood@informa.com