Catalogue


Saint-Simon and the court of Louis XIV /
Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, with the collaboration of Jean-François Fitou ; translated by Arthur Goldhammer.
imprint
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2001.
description
ix, 432 p., [24] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0226473201
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2001.
isbn
0226473201
catalogue key
4541273
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie is a professor at the College de France and a member of the Academie des Sciences Morales et Politiques.
Excerpts
Flap Copy
The Duke of Saint-Simon (1675-1755) was by all accounts, including his own, a sensitive, self-obsessed, ill-tempered man. A courtier and phenomenal chronicler of court life under Louis XIV, he produced the monumental workMemoirs, running to thousands of pages, in which the intrigues, personalities, activities, and gossip of life at Versailles are recorded in acerbic detail. Drawing heavily on theseMemoirs, renowned historian Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, with the collaboration of Jean-FranÇois Fitou, offers a fascinating and detailed portrait of life under Louis XIV, focusing on the fundamental issues of hierarchy and rank in this tightly controlled universe. Saint-Simon and the Court of Louis XIV, expertly translated by Arthur Goldhammer, is a historical essay about court life, built with the wide range of tools Le Roy Ladurie so expertly employs: ethnography, history, literary criticism, and historiography. He recreates a world in which man is most definitely born unequal and circumscribed entirely by purity of bloodline, which nonetheless directly preceded the birth of democratic thought and political action. Locked into a virtual caste system, courtiers formed within their ranks cabals, factions, and groups bonded by common ideological principles in order to survive the political order of the court. ThusSaint-Simon and the Court of Louis XIVis not only about Saint-Simon's place in this constellation but also the constellation itself and how understanding it forces us to a reevaluation of the idea of "political class" in France during the Old Regime. From adultery and maritalmÉsalliancesto intense religious debate and fervor, and including a biographical sketch of Saint-Simon and more than 30 illustrations of court life and its members,Saint-Simon and the Court of Louis XIVwill delight those interested in French history as well as instruct those interested in political history. Le Roy Ladurie'sThe Beggar and the Professorwas hailed as a study that added "color and texture to our understanding of the Renaissance and Reformation," according to theNew York Times Book Review. With Saint-Simon and the Court of Louis XIV, the same can now be said of his contribution to our understanding of the eighteenth century.
Flap Copy
The Duke of Saint-Simon (1675-1755) was by all accounts, including his own, a sensitive, self-obsessed, ill-tempered man. A courtier and phenomenal chronicler of court life under Louis XIV, he produced the monumental work Memoirs , running to thousands of pages, in which the intrigues, personalities, activities, and gossip of life at Versailles are recorded in acerbic detail. Drawing heavily on these Memoirs , renowned historian Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, with the collaboration of Jean-François Fitou, offers a fascinating and detailed portrait of life under Louis XIV, focusing on the fundamental issues of hierarchy and rank in this tightly controlled universe. Saint-Simon and the Court of Louis XIV , expertly translated by Arthur Goldhammer, is a historical essay about court life, built with the wide range of tools Le Roy Ladurie so expertly employs: ethnography, history, literary criticism, and historiography. He recreates a world in which man is most definitely born unequal and circumscribed entirely by purity of bloodline, which nonetheless directly preceded the birth of democratic thought and political action. Locked into a virtual caste system, courtiers formed within their ranks cabals, factions, and groups bonded by common ideological principles in order to survive the political order of the court. Thus Saint-Simon and the Court of Louis XIV is not only about Saint-Simon's place in this constellation but also the constellation itself and how understanding it forces us to a reevaluation of the idea of "political class" in France during the Old Regime. From adultery and marital mésalliances to intense religious debate and fervor, and including a biographical sketch of Saint-Simon and more than 30 illustrations of court life and its members, Saint-Simon and the Court of Louis XIV will delight those interested in French history as well as instruct those interested in political history. Le Roy Ladurie's The Beggar and the Professor was hailed as a study that added "color and texture to our understanding of the Renaissance and Reformation," according to the New York Times Book Review . With S aint-Simon and the Court of Louis XIV , the same can now be said of his contribution to our understanding of the eighteenth century.
Flap Copy
The Duke of Saint-Simon (1675-1755) was by all accounts, including his own, a sensitive, self-obsessed, ill-tempered man. A courtier and phenomenal chronicler of court life under Louis XIV, he produced the monumental work Memoirs , running to thousands of pages, in which the intrigues, personalities, activities, and gossip of life at Versailles are recorded in acerbic detail. Drawing heavily on these Memoirs , renowned historian Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, with the collaboration of Jean-Fran ois Fitou, offers a fascinating and detailed portrait of life under Louis XIV, focusing on the fundamental issues of hierarchy and rank in this tightly controlled universe. Saint-Simon and the Court of Louis XIV , expertly translated by Arthur Goldhammer, is a historical essay about court life, built with the wide range of tools Le Roy Ladurie so expertly employs: ethnography, history, literary criticism, and historiography. He recreates a world in which man is most definitely born unequal and circumscribed entirely by purity of bloodline, which nonetheless directly preceded the birth of democratic thought and political action. Locked into a virtual caste system, courtiers formed within their ranks cabals, factions, and groups bonded by common ideological principles in order to survive the political order of the court. Thus Saint-Simon and the Court of Louis XIV is not only about Saint-Simon's place in this constellation but also the constellation itself and how understanding it forces us to a reevaluation of the idea of "political class" in France during the Old Regime. From adultery and marital m salliances to intense religious debate and fervor, and including a biographical sketch of Saint-Simon and more than 30 illustrations of court life and its members, Saint-Simon and the Court of Louis XIV will delight those interested in French history as well as instruct those interested in political history. Le Roy Ladurie's The Beggar and the Professor was hailed as a study that added "color and texture to our understanding of the Renaissance and Reformation," according to the New York Times Book Review . With S aint-Simon and the Court of Louis XIV , the same can now be said of his contribution to our understanding of the eighteenth century.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2002-02-01:
This truly welcome English translation of a work by one of the most eminent French historians of our day is both conversational in tone and extremely erudite; it will please all those interested in how the court of Louis XIV operated. Lamenting that the memoirist Saint-Simon is largely unappreciated in the English-speaking world, Le Roy Ladurie sets out to sympathetically explore this spokesman of aristocratic prejudice within the context of his environment, the court of the Sun King. While exploring the sometimes-arcane world of the court with its emphasis on rank, hierarchy, sacral kingship, segregation, purity and impurity, and even renunciation, the work confronts Saint Simon's idealized image of status hierarchy with reality--the hierarchy of power as it actually existed amid generational cabals and court intrigue. Along the way we are treated to such esoteric delights as the intricacies of royal seating, kissing practices, knighthood orders, and noble gambling, as well as asides on broader issues such as Jansenism and political power. The last section of the work is a favorable reappraisal of the regent Orleans and his first minister, Cardinal Dubois. Highly recommended for general and academic libraries. D. C. Baxter Ohio University
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2001-05-14:
Halfway through this marvelous analysis of courtly life under the Sun King, the reader finds a complex chart of cabals with a striking resemblance to a map of the Paris Mtro. Kinship, friendship and other links are carefully plotted, in accordance with the Memoirs of the Duc de Saint-Simon (composed in the 1740s). The resemblance proves apposite: fellow Annales School historian Lucien Febvre suggested that the social structure of the ancien rgime was more closely related to a large city's infrastructure than to the neatly stratified layers of the Marxist paradigm. Le Roy Ladurie suggests another analogy for life at court in Saint-Simon's fondness for the game of billiards, in which one ball acts on another through the action of a third. There were in fact 10,000 human billiard balls at Versailles; the duke memorably described the lives and intrigues of these rapidly moving political atoms. Here, following the microcosmic approach used to excellent effect in his bestseller Montaillou, Le Roy Ladurie and collaborator Fitou analyze the ideology of this miniature world: small behavioral strands illuminate a larger web of culture and ideology. The study focuses on the almost comical obsession with hierarchy and rank, on the subtle distinctions that governed who might sit on a stool, who might take the armchair and who must necessarily stand. The bipartite structure of the book (cultural sociology/political narrative) draws immediate comparisons to Fernand Braudel's The Mediterranean; in both cases it is the sophisticated dissection of behavior and mentality is most memorable. (June) Forecast: Le Roy Ladurie's Montaillou is a classic. When the University of Chicago published his The Beggar and the Professor (1997), it was widely and favorably reviewed, and it sold remarkably well breaking boldly out of its niche. This new book, with its ever-popular royal subject, might surpass even these previous successes. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, May 2001
Choice, February 2002
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Summaries
Main Description
The Duke of Saint-Simon (16751755) was by all accounts, including his own, a sensitive, self-obsessed, ill-tempered man. A courtier and phenomenal chronicler of court life under Louis XIV, he produced the monumental work Memoirs , running to thousands of pages, in which the intrigues, personalities, activities, and gossip of life at Versailles are recorded in acerbic detail. Drawing heavily on these Memoirs , renowned historian Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie offers a wonderful portrait of life under Louis XIV, focusing on the fundamental issues of hierarchy and rank in this tightly controlled universe. Saint-Simon and the Court of Louis XIV , expertly translated by Arthur Goldhammer, is a historical essay about court life, built with the wide range of tools Ladurie so expertly employs: ethnography, history, literary criticism, and historiography. Ladurie recreates a world in which man is most definitely born unequal, a world circumscribed entirely by purity of bloodline, which nonetheless directly preceded the birth of democratic thought and political action. Locked into a virtual caste system, courtiers formed within their ranks cabals, factions, and groups bonded by common ideological principles in order to survive the political order of the court. Thus Saint-Simon and the Court of Louis XIV is not only about Saint-Simon's place in this constellation but also the constellation itself and how understanding it forces us to a reevaluation of political life in France during the Old Regime. Including a biographical sketch of Saint-Simon and more than 30 illustrations of court life and its members, Saint-Simon and the Court of Louis XIV will delight those interested in French history as well as instruct those interested in political history.
Main Description
The Duke of Saint-Simon (16751755) was by all accounts, including his own, a sensitive, self-obsessed, ill-tempered man. A courtier and phenomenal chronicler of court life under Louis XIV, he produced the monumental workMemoirs, running to thousands of pages, in which the intrigues, personalities, activities, and gossip of life at Versailles are recorded in acerbic detail. Drawing heavily on theseMemoirs, renowned historian Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie offers a wonderful portrait of life under Louis XIV, focusing on the fundamental issues of hierarchy and rank in this tightly controlled universe.Saint-Simon and the Court of Louis XIV, expertly translated by Arthur Goldhammer, is a historical essay about court life, built with the wide range of tools Ladurie so expertly employs: ethnography, history, literary criticism, and historiography. Ladurie recreates a world in which man is most definitely born unequal, a world circumscribed entirely by purity of bloodline, which nonetheless directly preceded the birth of democratic thought and political action. Locked into a virtual caste system, courtiers formed within their ranks cabals, factions, and groups bonded by common ideological principles in order to survive the political order of the court. ThusSaint-Simon and the Court of Louis XIVis not only about Saint-Simon's place in this constellation but also the constellation itself and how understanding it forces us to a reevaluation of political life in France during the Old Regime.Including a biographical sketch of Saint-Simon and more than 30 illustrations of court life and its members,Saint-Simon and the Court of Louis XIVwill delight those interested in French history as well as instruct those interested in political history.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Introduction: Saint-Simon in the Aura of le Roi Soleil and le Bien-Aimep. 1
The Court System
Hierarchy and Rankp. 23
The Sacred and the Profanep. 63
The Pure and the Impurep. 93
Cabals, Lineages, and Powerp. 121
Saint-Simonian Demography and Female Hypergamyp. 161
Renouncers and Jesuitsp. 199
The Regency System
The Liberal Regency: Autumn 1715 to Summer 1718p. 259
The Authoritarian Regency: Fall of 1718 to End of 1723p. 299
Conclusionp. 343
On Norbert Eliasp. 349
On Pasquier Quesnelp. 355
Notesp. 361
Bibliographyp. 397
Indexp. 409
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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