Ethics and Politics in Seventeenth Century France


By Keith Cameron

cover image of Ethics and Politics in Seventeenth Century France

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This collection of twenty essays, of which five are in French, written by leading English and French literary and historical scholars, deconstructs the ethical and political framework supporting and circumscribing the actions of a powerful elite in France between the early 1600s and the final years of Louis XIV's reign. Reflecting a diversity of individual concerns, the essays are divided into two interrelated parts in acknowledgement of the complex tensions between codes of behaviour and political practice in the different theatrical spaces of government in the real and imaginary world. Together these contributions offer a radical double questioning of the absolute values in which were founded the authority of Church, King and nobility.

The dual political and moral theme of this study is not new, but it is one that has always been highly regarded by historians and literary specialists alike. It is in fact one of the classic preoccupations of seventeenth-century studies, to which critics must always return, and to which students must always address themselves, if they are to comprehend the intellectual core of seventeenth-century French studies.

Ethics and Politics in Seventeenth Century France