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Aristocratic Experience And The Origins Of Modern Culture: France, 1570-1715
by Jonathan Dewald
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Aristocratic Experience and the Origins of Modern Culture explores a crucial moment in the history of European selfhood. During the seventeenth century, French nobles began to understand their lives in terms of personal histories and inner qualities, rather than as the products of tradition and inheritance. This preoccupation with the self accompanied a critical view of society, monarchy, and Christian teachings. It also shaped a new understanding of political realities and personal relations.
Drawing from a combination of memoirs, literary works, and archival sources, Jonathan Dewald offers a new understanding of aristocratic sensibilities. In detailed fashion, he explores the nobles' experience of war, career, money, family, love, and friendship. In all of these areas, nobles felt a gap between social expectations and personal needs; in the seventeenth century this tension became increasingly oppressive. Modern French culture, Dewald argues, emerged from this conflict between tradition and the individual's inner life.
From the Inside Flap
"No other work covers the subject that Dewald presents. . . . A learned tour de force."--Orest Ranum, Johns Hopkins University
From the Back Cover
"No other work covers the subject that Dewald presents. . . . A learned tour de force." (Orest Ranum, Johns Hopkins University)
About the Author
Jonathan Dewald is Professor of History at the State University of New York, Buffalo. He is the author of Pont-St-Pierre, 1398-1789: Lordship, Community, and Capitalism in Early Modern France (California, 1987).
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