Walled Towns and the Shaping of France: From the Medieval to the Early Modern Era

Overview

This book focuses on the ways in which military technology, political and social trends, and shifting frontiers shaped the emergence of new forms of public authority and civic life as embodied in the “wall,” an image at once intensely physical and deeply symbolic. It traces the evolution of towns across much of what is today France from the Middle Ages to the eighteenth century when the walls began to come down, opening up new, ultimately revolutionary possibilities for urban life. This long-term perspective on ...

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Overview

This book focuses on the ways in which military technology, political and social trends, and shifting frontiers shaped the emergence of new forms of public authority and civic life as embodied in the “wall,” an image at once intensely physical and deeply symbolic. It traces the evolution of towns across much of what is today France from the Middle Ages to the eighteenth century when the walls began to come down, opening up new, ultimately revolutionary possibilities for urban life. This long-term perspective on town fortifications—how they were built, the contests to control them, and how they shaped the lives of people both inside and outside them—in the end tell us much about the making of France.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This book covers much new ground in relating the history of France's town-walls and fortifications to the general history of the country. It is based on a formidable reading of the scattered sources, and will lead many readers to material that they had not known.”—David Buisseret, formerly Garrett Professor of History, University of Texas at Arlington
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230608122
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 8/15/2009
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Wolfe is Professor of History and Graduate Dean of Arts and Sciences at St. John’s University. He is the author or editor of five previous books, including The Conversion of Henri IV (1993), Changing Identities in Early Modern France (1997) and The Medieval City Under Siege (1999).

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Table of Contents

PART I: THE WALLS GO UP (900-1325)
• Urban Legacies and Early Medieval Trends
• Lords and Towns
• Capetian Expansion and New Urbanism
• PART II: THE WALLS MOVE OUTWARD (1325-1600)
Bonnes Villes and the Hundred Years’ War
• Royal Rulers and Their Towns
• Walled Towns during the Wars of Religion
• PART III: THE WALLS COME DOWN (1600-1750)
• State-Building and Urban Fortifications
• Opening Cities, Closing Frontiers
• Conclusion

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