Status, Power, and Identity in Early Modern France: The Rohan Family, 1550-1715

Status, Power, and Identity in Early Modern France: The Rohan Family, 1550-1715

by Jonathan Dewald

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In Status, Power, and Identity in Early Modern France, Jonathan Dewald explores European aristocratic society by looking closely at one of its most prominent families. The Rohan were rich, powerful, and respected, but Dewald shows that there were also weaknesses in their apparently secure position near the top of French society. Family finances were unstable, and competing interests among family members generated conflicts and scandals; political ambitions led to other troubles, partly because aristocrats like the Rohan intensely valued individual achievement, even if it came at the expense of the family’s needs. Dewald argues that aristocratic power in the Old Regime reflected ongoing processes of negotiation and refashioning, in which both men and women played important roles. So did figures from outside the family—government officials, middle-class intellectuals and businesspeople, and many others. Dewald describes how the Old Regime’s ruling class maintained its power and the obstacles it encountered in doing so.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780271067469
Publisher: Penn State University Press
Publication date: 04/21/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 264
File size: 12 MB
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About the Author

Jonathan Dewald is UB Distinguished Professor of History at the University at Buffalo. He is the author of Lost Worlds: The Emergence of French Social History, 1815–1970 (Penn State, 2006).

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations


Note on the Text


1. Constructing Status: Family Narratives, Family Myths

2. Constructing Identity: Henri de Rohan, 1579–1638

3. Women, Gender, and the Management of Dynastic Capital

4. Material Contexts: Wealth, Income, Strategies

5. Followers and Servants: Aristocracy as Collective Practice





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