The French Nobility in the Eighteenth Century: Reassessments and New Approaches by Jay M. Smith, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The French Nobility in the Eighteenth Century: Reassessments and New Approaches

The French Nobility in the Eighteenth Century: Reassessments and New Approaches

by Jay M. Smith
     
 

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Historians have long been fascinated by the nobility in pre-Revolutionary France. What difference did nobles make in French society? What role did they play in the coming of the Revolution? In this book, a group of prominent French historians shows why the nobility remains a vital topic for understanding France’s past.

The French Nobility in the

Overview

Historians have long been fascinated by the nobility in pre-Revolutionary France. What difference did nobles make in French society? What role did they play in the coming of the Revolution? In this book, a group of prominent French historians shows why the nobility remains a vital topic for understanding France’s past.

The French Nobility in the Eighteenth Century appears some thirty years after the publication of the most sweeping and influential “revisionist” assessment of the French nobility, Guy Chaussinand-Nogaret’s La noblesse au dix-huitième siècle. The contributors to this volume incorporate the important lessons of Chaussinand-Nogaret’s revisionism but also reexamine the assumptions on which that revisionism was based. At the same time, they consider what has been gained or lost through the adoption of new methods of inquiry in the intervening years. Where, in other words, should the nobility fit into the twenty-first century’s narrative about eighteenth-century France?

The French Nobility in the Eighteenth Century will interest not only specialists of the eighteenth century, the French Revolution, and modern European history but also those concerned with the differences in, and the developing tensions between, the methods of social and cultural history.

In addition to the editor, the contributors are Rafe Blaufarb, Gail Bossenga, Mita Choudhury, Jonathan Dewald, Doina Pasca Harsanyi, Thomas E. Kaiser, Michael Kwass, Robert M. Schwartz, John Shovlin, and Johnson Kent Wright.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Smith, well known for his studies of the French nobility, presents a stimulating collection of essays originally presented at a 2002 North Carolina Humanities Center symposium.

Grouped under three themes—economy, political culture, and ‘aristocratic reaction’—the essays, an exceptional blend of broad overview and detailed specialization, highlight the interrelationship of political, social, and intellectual change.”

—D. C. Baxter, Choice

“It is a book of great value for our understanding not only of the nobility, but of the politics and culture of eighteenth-century France. To what extent one may draw general conclusions from the case studies that make up many of the essays is open to debate; it is certain that this book will stimulate further research.”

—Thomas Worcester, Canadian Journal of History

“This well-edited and well-written anthology combines the latest research with a range of subjects on a variety of levels and has something for the professional historian and for the general reader.”

—Frank Garosi, The Historian

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780271028989
Publisher:
Penn State University Press
Publication date:
11/28/2006
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Jay M. Smith is Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His most recent book is Monsters of the Gévaudan: The Making of a Beast (2011).

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