Giant of the Grand Siècle: The French Army, 1610-1715

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $87.27
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 8%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (8) from $87.27   
  • New (6) from $87.27   
  • Used (2) from $118.50   


An "invisible giant," the seventeeth-century French army was the largest and hungriest institution of the Bourbon monarchy; yet it has received incomplete treatment and is poorly understood. Combining social and cultural emphases with more traditional institutional and operational concerns, this book examines the army in depth, studying recruitment, composition, discipline, motivation, selection of officers, leadership, administration, logistics, weaponry, tactics, field warfare, and siegecraft. The portrait that emerges differs from what current scholarship might have predicted. Instead of claiming that a "military revolution" transformed warfare, Lynn stresses evolutionary change. Questioning widely-held assumptions about state formation and coercion, he argues that this standing army was primarily devoted to border defense, and only rarely to internal repression.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"John Lynn's Giant of the Grand Siecle is a giant of a book..." M.J. Carley, H-France Review of Books

"A valuable work for anyone interested in the Age of Louis XIV or the French Army going into the eighteenth century." A.A. Noft, The NYMAS Newsletter

"...a masterful work which will serve as a landmark for future military historians." Paul Sonino, H-France Review of Books

"John Lynn's Giant of the gRand Siecle is a giant of a book, not only in length but also in substance." Paul Sonnino, H-Net Reviews

"...this work is encyclopedic, unfailingly interesting, and beautifully researched and written. Indispensable for all modern European collections." G.P. Cox, Choice

"...a useful reference tool for those of us in French language and literature." Joseph L. Allaire, The French Review

"This book is a comprehensive study of the French army during the seventeenth century and its place in the history of state-building....Lynn offers carefully nuanced revisions of many standard views concerning the military origins of absolutism, the nature of the military revolution, and the alleged modernity of Louis XIV's army...this book...admirably achieves its goal of forcing us to confront directly the massive significance of the army." William Beik, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"...this is a fine, thick book with clear organization and exhaustive use of the manuscript and printed sources that will allow historians to refer to it with confidence for many years." The Historian

Every historian of the seventeenth century who attempts to understand the entirety of that turbulent time must have this book on his bookshelf or suffer the consequences of incomplete knowledge and a crippling blind spot." Army History

"This is a valuable book...highly recommended for both the scholar and the novice." Frederick C. Schneid, American Historical Review

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521032483
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2006
  • Pages: 672
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.34 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; Acknowledgements; Part I. Context and Parameters: 1. Contexts of military change in the Grand Siècle; 2. Army growth; Part II. Administration and Supply: 3. The military administration; 4. Food and fodder; 5. Providing other essentials; 6. The tax of violence and contributions; Part III. Command: 7. The costs of regimental command; 8. The culture of command; 9. The high command; Part IV. The Rank and File: 10. Army composition; 11. Recruitment; 12. Discipline and desertion; 13. Elements of morale and motivation: dependence and loyalty; Part V. The Practice of War: 14. Weaponry and tactics; 15. Learning and practising the art of field warfare; 16. Positional warfare; Epilogue: insights on state formation; Bibliography; Index.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)