Catalogue


Aristocratic experience and the origins of modern culture : France, 1570-1715 /
Jonathan Dewald.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, 1993.
description
xii, 231 p.
ISBN
0520078373
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, 1993.
isbn
0520078373
general note
"A Centennial book."
catalogue key
3111627
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"No other work covers the subject that Dewald presents. . . . A learned tour de force."--Orest Ranum, Johns Hopkins University
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1993-11:
Dewald (SUNY Buffalo), author of two solid earlier studies of provincial nobility in and around Rouen, demonstrates increased intellectual maturity with each new work. In this perceptive and challenging monograph, he argues that the nobility were not peripheral to the development of modern culture with its sense of individual autonomy, but actively participated in its formation. In the 17th century, aristocrats, male and female, found the traditional society of orders with its givens of birth, privilege, and hierarchy, oppressive in practice and began to question its assumptions. Less concerned with the origins of this tension than with its dialectic, Dewald explores the concepts of self-worth, ambition, friendship, and calculation within the confines of court, military life, family, venality of office, and land ownership. Based on memoir literature and correspondence in several collections of family papers, Dewald's evidence is derived from a small literary elite, little more than a score of individuals. Nonetheless, this highly readable and suggestive account is a welcome contribution to a growing literature on aristocratic culture. Recommended. Advanced undergraduate; graduate; faculty. D. C. Baxter; Ohio University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 1993
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Summaries
Long Description
Aristocratic Experience and the Origins of Modern Culture explores a crucial moment in the history of European selfhood. During the seventeenth century, French nobles began to understand their lives in terms of personal histories and inner qualities, rather than as the products of tradition and inheritance. This preoccupation with the self accompanied a critical view of society, monarchy, and Christian teachings. It also shaped a new understanding of political realities and personal relations. Drawing from a combination of memoirs, literary works, and archival sources, Jonathan Dewald offers a new understanding of aristocratic sensibilities. In detailed fashion, he explores the nobles' experience of war, career, money, family, love, and friendship. In all of these areas, nobles felt a gap between social expectations and personal needs; in the seventeenth century this tension became increasingly oppressive. Modern French culture, Dewald argues, emerged from this conflict between tradition and the individual's inner life.
Main Description
Aristocratic Experience and the Origins of Modern Cultureexplores a crucial moment in the history of European selfhood. During the seventeenth century, French nobles began to understand their lives in terms of personal histories and inner qualities, rather than as the products of tradition and inheritance. This preoccupation with the self accompanied a critical view of society, monarchy, and Christian teachings. It also shaped a new understanding of political realities and personal relations. Drawing from a combination of memoirs, literary works, and archival sources, Jonathan Dewald offers a new understanding of aristocratic sensibilities. In detailed fashion, he explores the nobles' experience of war, career, money, family, love, and friendship. In all of these areas, nobles felt a gap between social expectations and personal needs; in the seventeenth century this tension became increasingly oppressive. Modern French culture, Dewald argues, emerged from this conflict between tradition and the individual's inner life.
Table of Contents
Preface
Introductionp. 1
Ambition and the Polityp. 15
The Profession of Armsp. 45
Family, Education, and Selfhoodp. 69
Friendship, Love, and Civilityp. 104
Money and the Problem of Powerp. 146
The Meanings of Writingp. 174
Conclusionp. 205
Appendix: Biographical Sketchesp. 209
Bibliographyp. 215
Indexp. 225
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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