The Bourbons: The History of a Dynasty

Overview

The House of Bourbon is one of the most historically important European royal houses. Bourbon kings first ruled Navarre and France in the sixteenth century and by the eighteenth century, members of the Bourbon dynasty also held thrones in Spain and southern Italy - in fact the current king of Spain is a Bourbon monarch. This new history of the Bourbons is notable for being both comprehensive yet concise as it charts the rise, fall and rise again of the great French dynasty.

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Overview

The House of Bourbon is one of the most historically important European royal houses. Bourbon kings first ruled Navarre and France in the sixteenth century and by the eighteenth century, members of the Bourbon dynasty also held thrones in Spain and southern Italy - in fact the current king of Spain is a Bourbon monarch. This new history of the Bourbons is notable for being both comprehensive yet concise as it charts the rise, fall and rise again of the great French dynasty.

Henry IV, king of Gascony, became king of France after the murder of the last Valois monarch in 1589. The Bourbon rulers who followed, including Louis XIV, the ‘Sun King' and Louis XV reigned during a period when France was the leading military power in Europe and when its arts was dominant. Louis XIV's palace of Versailles epitomised classical French culture and celebrated the power of its creator. France's autocratic government, under which the nobility were largely exempt from taxation, led in the eighteenth century to increasingly severe political and financial strains. The French Revolution of 1789 brought about the fall of the Bourbon monarchy and resulted in the execution of Louis XVI and his wife, Marie-Antoinette. In exile under Napoleon, the Bourbons returbaned to power for fifteen years after 1815 but never fully re-established their authority. The Bourbons tells their fascinating story.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781852855239
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 4/28/2007
  • Pages: 232
  • Sales rank: 1,317,915
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

J.H. Shennan is Emeritus Professor of History at Lancaster University. He is a leading authority of the history of ancien régime France. and the author of Government and Society in France, 1461-1661, The Parlement of Paris and Philippe, Duke of Orleans, Regent of France.

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Table of Contents


Illustrations     vii
Preface     ix
Genealogy     x
Antecedents     71
Tipping the Balance
France in Peril     27
Henry IV     41
Consolidating the State
Louis XIII: the Implacable     61
Apotheosis: the Sun King     95
Losing the Kingdom
Louis XV     133
Louis Capet     161
Epilogue     187
Notes     193
Bibliography     205
Index     213
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  • Posted February 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    End of an era

    This book is an outstanding summary of the Bourbon Dynasty and the French political scene from the middle of the sixteenth century to the nineteenth century. It starts with Henri of Navarre, the future King Henry IV of France. It contains a very lucid discussion about the relationship between the Gallican (Catholic) church and Rome and how the Gallican church maintained its independence from Rome. It contains a detailed description of Henri's religious beliefs and talks about his switch to the Calvinist cause in Southwest France. It is an outstanding continuation to four other books I highly recommend and, together, they all make an essential contribution to any library and any understanding of the period. This book covers Henri IV of France and the kings that followed in the consolidation of France from Louis XIII to Louis Capet. It covers briefly, the french revolution and the Death of Marie Antoinette and her husband, Louis XVI. Altogether, this is a very inormative and enlightening book, very well written, and very easy to read. This is a great purchase you will not regret.

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