Richelieu and His Age

Richelieu and His Age


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This study of Cardinal Richelieu's career as chief minister to Louis XIII of France presents the original research of eight experts in the field. Linking their work is the belief that Richelieu's ministry was a significant moment in the history of early modern France. The authors reject the traditional picture of Richelieu as the single-handed creator of the French absolute state and the original exponent of Realpolitik. Instead they paint a collective portrait of a statesman politically astute but none the less devout. The Richelieu who emerges is in many respects a conservative figure, but one driven by a genuine desire to establish a more just and peaceful society (both in France and in Europe). The emphasis here then is on Richelieu the Cardinal, not Richelieu the secular statesman. The tragedy and irony of his ministry, as the authors also show, was that in order to maintain himself in power, Richelieu had to behave more like a Renaissance prince than a Counter-Reformation prelate.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780198202318
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 12/17/1992
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 6.38(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

List of plates
List of maps
Note on quotations
List of contributors
1. Richelieu as Chief Minister: A comparative study of the favourite in early seventeenth-century politics
2. 'Une Bonne Paix': Richelieu's foreign policy and the peace of Christendom
3. Richelieu and reform: Rhetoric and political reality
4. Louis XIII, Richelieu, and the royal finances
5. Richelieu, the Grands, and the French army
6. Richelieu and his bishops? Ministerial power and episcopal patronage under Louis XIII
7. Richelieu and the arts
8. Richelieu, education, and the state

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