Early Modern Studies, Vol. 19
The study of history is a fundamentally sociable practice, with the exchange of ideas taking place in writing, over the seminar table, and often in informal discussions over food. These essays grew out of a web of sociability centered around French historian Robert Descimon, and focus on the nexus of social relations, politics, and power in France as it moved from the age of religious wars into the age of absolutism. Using a wide variety of historical approaches and methods, these essays offer new insights into the evolving role of early modern elites and the social, familial, and cultural influences that shaped their values and priorities.
Honoring the path-breaking social and political history of Robert Descimon, these essays describe and themselves display the innovative methods and insight that mark his scholarship on early modern France. Following Descimon’s lead into archives, manuscripts, and marginalia, the authors add to our understanding of the construction of the absolute state and the networks and loyalties of the elites on which it depended. is also a testimony to the networks of friendship that sustain historians in their work on both sides of the Atlantic. A book full of riches!
—Natalie Zemon Davis
The selections in this volume build on Robert Descimon’s critical work on the workings and nature of the early modern state by focusing on the complexities underlying actions and contentions among French elites during the crucial transition to Bourbon rule.
—Michael Wolfe, Queens College, CUNY