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

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

byJonathan Dewald

Hardcover | March 31, 2015

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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.

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


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





Editorial Reviews

“An epic account of one of France's most notable—and notorious—families. Writing with flair and an eye for detail, Jonathan Dewald shows how the Rohan amassed power in the sixteenth century and pulled themselves back from the brink of dynastic disaster in the seventeenth century, which saw the great commander Henri de Rohan and his brother, the duc de Soubise, in exile without male heirs. In a perfect blend of political and cultural history, this startling new account of the house of Rohan weaves together public and private histories to elucidate the fragility of social standing, the fortunes spent to acquire or maintain it, and the provincial estates, esteemed bloodlines, military exploits, and family myth-making that produced both hard cash and social capital. A must-read for anyone interested in French aristocratic society.”—Kate van Orden, Harvard University