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Secretaries and Statecraft in the Early Modern World

Paul M. Dover (éd.)

Paul M. Dover (éd.), Secretaries and Statecraft in the Early Modern World, Oxford University Press, 2016, 125 $.

One of the prominent themes of the political history of the 16th and 17th centuries is the waxing influence officials in the exercise of state power, particularly in international relations, as it became impossible for monarchs to stay on top of the increasingly complex demands of ruling.

Encompassing a variety of cultural and institutional settings, these essays examine how state secretaries, prime ministers and favourites managed diplomatic personnel and the information flows they generated. They explore how these officials balanced domestic matters with external concerns, and service to the monarch and state with personal ambition.

By opening various perspectives on policy-making at the level just below the monarch, this volume offers up rich opportunities for comparative history and a new take on the diplomatic history of the period.