This controversial study takes the provocative line that the French monarchy was a complete success. James turns the idea of royal absolutism on its head by redefining the French monarchys success from 1598 - 1661.
The Origins of French Absolutism, 1598-1661 maintains that building blocks were not being laid by the so-called architects of absolutism, but that by satisfying long-established, traditional ambitions, cardinal ministers Richelieu and Mazarin undoubtedly made the confident, ambitious reign of the late century possible.
Table of Contents
Introduction to the Series
Map: France in 1620
PART ONE: THE BACKGROUND
1. EARLY BOURBON MONARCHY
The ‘Peace’ Of Nantes
The Recovery Of Royal Authority
The Early Reign Of Louis XIII
PART TWO: ANALYSIS
The Catholic Reformation
The Cardinal Ministers
Early Aims and Ambitions
France in the Thirty Years' War, 1635-48
Mazarin and the Peace Of The Pyrenees, 1648-59
Officers of the Crown
Fronde of the Parlement, 1648-49
5. SOCIAL ORDER
The Fronde of the Nobles, 1650-53
Louis XIII and the Nobility
Historians and the Nobility
The Dynastic State
PART THREE: ASSESSMENT
6. THE ORIGINS OF FRENCH ABSOLUTISM?
The Fouquet-Colbert Rivalry
The End Of Government By First Minister?
The Golden Years, 1559-61
PART FOUR: DOCUMENTS
Alan James is a lecturer in the Laughton Naval History Unit of the Department of War Studies, King's College London. His is author of The Navy and Government in Early Modern France, 1572-1661 (Boydell, 2004) for which he was awarded the prize of 'Best Young Academic Author of the Year' by the college.