Louis XIII, the Just
Publication Year: 1989
Published by: University of California Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
During my graduate studies in the 1950s, my mentor said with a twinkle in his eye that Louis XIII had the reputation of not having the brains to come in from the rain, but had recently become intelligent enough to do that, and could be expected to become even brighter in the future. Little did this wonderful friend and teacher or I know that ...
Introduction: Interpreting Louis XIII
A perplexed historian once wrote: "Louis XIII was one of those persons whom we do not know how to judge; it is not possible to make pronouncements about him if one wishes to be scrupulously accurate and fair."1 What perplexed that scholar makes this seventeenth- century Bourbon king of France an engrossing challenge for a ...
PART I. The Formation of a King 1601-15
1. A DAUPHIN'S WORLD
Shortly after 10:00 P.M. on 27 September 1601, in the oval chamber of the royal palace at Fontainebleau, the king and queen of France celebrated the birth of their first child. It was a boy, the first dauphin to be born to a reigning French monarch in fifty-eight years. Within nine years he would mount his father's ...
2. THE BOY KING
At mid afternoon on Friday, 14 May 1610, the dauphin of France was enjoying a short carriage ride and the chance to practice with his firearms near the Louvre. The king was headed in a separate carriage for the home of his favorite advisor, the duke of Sully, his thoughts concentrated on a projected military campaign in the German ...
3. KING, ESTATES, AND STATE
What is it like to be thirteen and legally responsible for a country's destiny? For King Louis XIII in September 1614, it meant a considerably increased involvement in state affairs, although not enough to make him content. From the moment of Louis's majority, Marie de' Medici ruled his state not as duly authorized regent but ...
PART II. Louis the Just Comes of Age 1615-24
4. ROYAL MARRIAGE AND COUP D'ETAT
By 1615, Louis XIII was marked for life as a highly emotional person with strong principles. He also had a worrisome tendency to seek out someone to lean on. And he had difficulty expressing differences with others, resorting instead to studied silence and occasional, sharply worded retorts. This royal teenager ...
5. SEEKING AN EFFECTIVE MODE OF GOVERNANCE
Moments after Concini's demise, Colonel Ornano proudly told his sovereign: "Sire, at this hour you are king, for Marshal Ancre is dead."1 Many fifteen-year-olds would have cringed at the way this turn of events had come about and shrunk from its consequences. Louis XIII did neither. This determined youth managed immediately...
6. FIGHTING FOR JUST CAUSES
No one would describe Louis XIII as a great political leader with sophisticated goals and elaborate plans to achieve those goals. Throughout his personal reign he was stronger on principles than on policy, more of a reactor than an initiator. Yet as he reacted during his late teens and early twenties to the issues of the day, he ...
7. GROWING UP IN PUBLIC
Louis XIII's childhood has attracted so much attention that we almost forget that he had an unusual adolescence. Here he was, married to a foreign princess at age fourteen, turning against his mother before he was sixteen, and caught in the grip of an embarrassing obsession with a middle-aged subject during his late teens—and ...
PART III. French Absolutism in the Making 1624-35
8. PARTNERSHIP OF KING AND CARDINAL
Historians have always been awed by the political changes in the France of Louis XIII during the decade 1624-35, for they marked a major stage in the development of what is called absolute monarchy. The monarch crushed family, court, and ministerial opposition more serious than the opposition he had met during the Wars ...
9. ORDERING PRIORITIES
The five years of Louis XIII's rule that began with Richelieu's appointment and culminated in the fall of La Rochelle were a confusing but pivotal period in French history. Between 1624 and 1628, the king settled on basic policies that made possible fundamental political change during the rest of the reign. Five elements were ...
10. ALAIS, MANTUA, AND THE DAY OF DUPES
Three months after subduing La Rochelle, Louis XIII embarked on one of the most daring exploits of his life. In the dead of winter, against the objections of his family and the devots, he led thirty-five thousand foot soldiers and three thousand cavalry across the snow-driven Alps to fight Savoy, Spain, and the German emperor ...
11. GOVERNMENTAL REVOLUTION
As stunning as the coup d'etat of 11 November 1630 was to Louis XIII's France, it was not an isolated event, but part of a broader historical process. The policies that had evolved during the first thirteen years of Louis XIII's personal rule continued during his last thirteen. What the Day of Dupes did alter was the degree and...
PART IV. The Legacy of Louis XIII 1635-43
12. WARFARE KING,STATE, AND SOCIETY
Louis XIII's declaration of war on Philip IV of Spain in 1635, which was followed a year later by hostilities with Emperor Ferdinand, placed enormous strains on his person, his state, and French society. We can only guess at all the effects wartime living had on the king's deteriorating constitution, yet it surely hastened
13. KING AND CULTURE
Modest and unassuming as he was in his tastes, Louis XIII had no interest in bequeathing to the world a Louis Treize style of art, interior design, literature, or music. Of course, he could not avoid being a patron of the arts; but he did it as a duty, allowing his mother, brother, and chief minister to play the role of enthusiastic ...
14. THE INTIMATE LOUIS
Anecdotal history has dismissed the aging Louis XIII as a fawning lover of brainless young men and a hopeless prude with women, unlikely the father of his own son. This biographer has even heard the spurious story that Mazarin sired the future Louis XIV whispered to him in the Bibliotheque nationale (though Mazarin was...
Conclusion: Louis XIII Beyond the Grave
Louis XIII fell ill for the last time in February 1643 while staying at his boyhood residence in St-Germain. He kept rallying, attended his council, and walked in his gardens. But in April he retired to his chambers, with their view of the basilica at St-Denis, where shortly he would join France's past kings and queens. He made all ...
Page Count: 417
Publication Year: 1989
OCLC Number: 44958697
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