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Venality: The Sale of Offices in Eighteenth-Century France

Overview


In early modern France almost all posts of public responsibility could only be acquired by purchase or inheritance. By the eighteenth century there were 70,000 venal offices comprising the entire judiciary, most of the legal profession, officers in the army, and a wide range of other professions. William Doyle, one of the foremost historians of early modern Europe, traces the evolution and dissolution of a system which was one of the central institutions of French life for over...
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Overview


In early modern France almost all posts of public responsibility could only be acquired by purchase or inheritance. By the eighteenth century there were 70,000 venal offices comprising the entire judiciary, most of the legal profession, officers in the army, and a wide range of other professions. William Doyle, one of the foremost historians of early modern Europe, traces the evolution and dissolution of a system which was one of the central institutions of French life for over three centuries.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"...by synthesizing existing material, uncovering additional archival evidence, and extending the investigation of veniality into new areas, his book makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of the Old Regime and Revolution."--Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"Doyle has written a splendid book....well argued and rich in detail....The book should be required reading for historians, but anyone with an interest in eighteenth-century society will find it useful. It offers any reader a remarkable window on prerevolutionary France."--History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198205364
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/28/1996
  • Pages: 368
  • Lexile: 1590L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.31 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Abbreviations
Chronology
1 Venality: A French Addiction 1
2 Archomania: Venality at the Limit, 1689-1722 26
3 The Venal Labyrinth 58
4 'All that Finance has spoil'd': The Government and Venality, 1722-1768 89
5 Unforeseen Necessities: The Government and Venality, 1768-1788 113
6 Honour for Money: Venality in Society 152
7 Money for Honour: Offices in the Market 196
8 Beyond Debate: Venality in the Public Mind 239
9 Ambiguities of Abolition: The Revolution and Venality 275
10 Epilogue: The Persistence of Venality 312
Select Bibliography 324
Glossary 332
Index 335
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