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Power and reputation at the Court of Louis XIII. The Career of Charles D’Albert, duc de Luynes (1578-1621)

Sharon Kettering

Sharon Kettering : Power and reputation at the Court of Louis XIII. The Career of Charles D’Albert, duc de Luynes (1578-1621), Studies in Early Modern European History, Manchester University Press, 2008.

"Through the study of one royal favorite, Dr. Kettering illuminates virtually every aspect of Early Seventeenth Century History. Learned, elegant, and eminently readable, Kettering brings a falconer and his king to life. "
Orest Ranum, Professor Emeritus of French History, Johns Hopkins University

This book seeks to rehabilitate the reputation of Charles d’Albert, duc de Luynes, the controversial favorite of Louis XIII often vilified by historians. Luynes developed an effective political partnership with the teenage king, and gave him the chance to rule alone by helping to organise the assassination of the Queen Mother’s favourite Concini in 1617, thus ending her political dominance. Through a monopoly of the distribution of royal patronage at court, he created a party of great nobles and a power base around Paris that helped in suppressing the Queen Mother’s revolt of 1619–20 and enabled him to stay in power until his death of scarlet fever in December 1621.

Traditional historical interpretation of Luynes has been significantly influenced by the testimony of Richelieu, who subjected Luynes to a devastating character assassination in his memoirs. Kettering argues that Richelieu’s malice and the bias in histories based upon his memoirs justify another look at Luynes’s career. This book sifts through the historical evidence to offer a new perspective on Luynes, arguing that his contributions to the early years of Louis XIII’s government have been insufficiently appreciated, and in the process throws light upon a dark, unpleasant corner of Richelieu’s personality often ignored by historians.

As well as advanced students and historians of early modern France, this book should interest those specialising in the history of European courts, power politics, patronage and printed pamphlet literature.

Sharon Kettering is Professor of History Emerita at Montgomery College in Maryland.

Studies in Early Modern European History

320 pp
ISBN : 9780719077869
01 April 2008
4 black and white illustrations ; 4 maps

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