Changing Identities in Early Modern France / Edition 1

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Changing Identities in Early Modern France offers new interpretations of what it meant to be French during a period of profound transition, from the outbreak of the Hundred Years War to the consolidation of the Bourbon monarchy in the seventeenth century. As medieval notions were gradually replaced by new definitions of the state, society, and family, dynastic struggles and religious wars raised questions about loyalty and identity and destabilized the meaning of "Frenchness."
After examining the interplay between competing ideologies and public institutions, from the monarchy to the Parlement of Paris to the aristocratic household, the volume explores the dynamics of deviance and dissent, particularly in regard to women’s roles in religious reform movements and such sensationalized phenomena as the witch hunts and infanticide trials. Concluding essays examine how regional and confessional identities reshaped French identity in response to the discovery of the New World and the spectacular spread of Calvinism.

Contributors. Charmarie Blaisdell, William Bouwsma, Lawrence M. Bryant, Denis Crouzet, Robert Descimon, Barbara B. Diefendorf, Richard M. Golden, Sarah Hanley, Mack P. Holt, Donald R. Kelley, Kristen B. Neuschel, J. H. M. Salmon, Zachary Sayre Schiffman, Silvia Shannon, Alfred Soman, Michael Wolfe

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Changing Identities in Early Modern France is an outstanding volume. Michael Wolfe has done a superb job.”—Carolyn Chappell Lougee, Stanford University

“This volume presents both new material and new interpretation. The scholarship is superior. Historians will welcome its publication.”—Jonathan Dewald, State University of New York at Buffalo

American Historical Review
Changing Identities in Early Modern France
French History
[The book] deserve[s] a wide audience. . . [and] there is much to recommend it as a source of insight and scholarship into important themes in early modern French history.
[T]hese [are] engaging and stimulating essays. . . . Mirroring [Nancy] Roelker's impeccable scholarship, the essays are uniformly of high quality and will be of special interest to historians of early modern France.
Canadian Journal of History
"[Changing Identities in Early Modern France] will be much used, as scholars working on a myriad of issues will find here seminal articles, engagingly written. . . . The collection assembled by Michael Wolfe is wonderfully rich, diverse, and instructive, and it is to be recommended to serious readers among early modern scholars and the many other societies engaged in questions of national self-awareness and formation. Changing Identities is both a demanding and an enjoyable read, which will divert the idly curious as effectively as it expands the understanding of scholars.
Renaissance Studies
The range of the contributions, and their overall quality, makes this collection a welcome addition to our understanding of early modern France.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822319139
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books
  • Publication date: 4/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 424
  • Product dimensions: 6.22 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 1.17 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Wolfe is Associate Professor of History at Pennsylvania State University, Altoona.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Becoming French in Early Modern Europe 1
1 Ideologies and Institutions 23
The French Romantics and the Renaissance 25
Making History: Ceremonial Texts, Royal Space, and Political Theory in the Sixteenth Century 46
Identity Politics and Rulership in France: Female Political Place and the Fraudulent Salic Law in Christine de Pizan and Jean de Montreuil 78
The Birth of the Nobility of the Robe: Dignity versus Privilege in the Parlement of Paris, 1500-1700 95
Noblewomen and War in Sixteenth-Century France 124
II Dissent and Deviance 145
Religion, Gender, and Class: Nuns and Authority in Early Modern France 147
An Age of Gold? Parisian Women, the Holy League, and the Roots of Catholic Renewal 169
A Woman and the Devil: Possession and Exorcism in Sixteenth-Century France 191
Satan in Europe: The Geography of Witch Hunts 216
Anatomy of an Infanticide Trial: The Case of Marie-Jeanne Bartonnet 1742 248
III Identities in Flux 273
New World, Old Historiography 275
Montaigne and the Discovery of the Ordinary 294
An Intellectual in Politics: Montaigne as Mayor of Bordeaux 307
Villegagnon, Polyphemus, and Cain of America: Religion and Polemics in the French New World 325
Burgundians into Frenchmen: Catholic Identity in Sixteenth-Century Burgundy 345
Protestant Reactions to the Conversion of Henry IV 371
Index 391
Contributors 409
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