History B 356
02 September 2013 Labor Day (no class)

The "Ancien" Regime
(slides)

Background Reading
Censer and Hunt, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, pp. 9-14.

Discussion: Honor and Absolutism; Theory and Practice
Bishop Bossuet, Politics Derived from the Very Words of the Holy Scriptures (1679; first published in 1709), selection on-line.

Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron of Montesquieu,  The Spirit of the Laws (1748), books 1 and 3, and book 7, chapters 4, 5, and 9, available on-line [the "contents" link takes you to the Table of Contents which is divided by book and chapter] and in the library.

Louis XV speaks to the parlement of Paris in “The Session of the Scourging” (3 March 1766), available on-line at Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, or on the cd-rom.


Comtesse de Boigne, Mémoires [written in the aftermath of the Revolution to describe life at court; she herself was a small child when the Revolution began], translated extract available on-line.

Further Reading
William Beik, Louis XIV and Absolutism (2000)--includes primary-source materials.

Peter Burke, The Fabrication of Louis XIV (1994).

Colin Jones, The Great Nation: France from Louis XIV to Napoleon (2002), chapters 1, 3, and 4.

Thomas Kaiser, "Louis le Bien-Aimé and the Rhetoric of the Royal Body," in S. Melzer and K. Norberg, eds., From the Royal to the Republican Body (1998).

Jay M. Smith, ed., The French Nobility in the Eighteenth Century: Reassessments and New Approaches (2006).

Versailles
Virtual Versailles

Louis XIV
Louis XIV (portrait by Rigaud) and in the
memoires of the Duc de Saint Simon

Louis XV
Louis XV (portrait by Van Loo)