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

Hardcover | March 31, 2015

byJonathan 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 both how the Old Regime’s ruling class maintained its power and the obstacles it encountered in doing so.

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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...

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).

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:264 pages, 9.29 × 6.31 × 0.89 inPublished:March 31, 2015Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271066164

ISBN - 13:9780271066165

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Contents

List of Illustrations

Preface

Note on the Text

Introduction

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

Conclusion

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

“Jonathan Dewald’s new monograph throws a multifaceted light on one of the leading grandee families of early modern France. . . . Dewald’s important study establishes with clarity and erudition how the egos of high-ranking nobles helped to shape early modern France and Europe, and shows how their grandiose actions would prompt their overthrow in the wake of the revolution.”

—Joanna Milstein, Renaissance Quarterly