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112BOOK REVIEWS which I doubt the author would have tolerated Lf he had had the opportunity to proof them afresh.These articles demonstrate once more that -when one pays close attention to small detaU and reads documents carefuUy, much of importance can be added on topics and themes that earUer scholars seemingly explored fuUy. Martin J. Havran University ofVirginia The Making of the French Episcopate, 1589-1661. By Joseph Bergin. (New Haven:Yale University Press. 1996. Pp. xin, 761 . $50.00.) The emergence of prosopography as a historical method some thirty years ago has led to the pubUcation of a large number of works on the early-modern episcopate. Bishops are weU suited to this approach because of their status and the extensive information, relatively speaking, avaUable about them.The best of these studies so far is this massive book, which provides a vast amount of detail about the 351 bishops given miters Ln the seven decades it covers.The book's title accurately reflects its content in that it concentrates on how bishops were appointed and what went into preparing a cleric for episcopal office, not on what they did once they gained their sees. The text is divided into three major sections.The first, "The French Church and Its Bishops," provides a sketch of the previous studies of the French episcopate and a description of the territorial layout of the French Church before moving on to the process by which bishops were appointed.The latter point is accomplished largely through a series ofcase studies that demonstrate the complicated maneuvers within the diocese, at Rome, and especiaUy at court that would-be bishops and their patrons had to go through to gain a miter. Bergin devotes two valuable chapters to the finances of the episcopate, showing what the bishop's nominal income in each of the 113 French dioceses was at midseventeenth century and what obUgations, mostly in the form of pensions, reduced a bishop's real income. The second section, "Profiles of the Episcopate," is devoted largely to the question ofwhat went into the making of a bishop:place of origin, family background , cUentele and kinship ties, education, and career path. Among the noteworthy points shown by Bergin's data are a decline in home-grown bishops and a substantial increase in those from Parisian famiUes. His data on their social origins contradict the common image of an episcopate soUdly noble by 1661, showing that under RicheUeu in particular a higher percentage ofcommoner bishops were seated than in the sixteenth century.The education offuture bishops was decidedly improved over the previous century. By 1661 over 90% had higher degrees in law or theology. Even the best noble famUies had reaUzed that ifthey hoped to win miters for their younger sons, they had to be weU educated. Other changes that Bergin's statistics reveal are the near disappearance of underage BOOK REVIEWS113 appointees but yet a longer average period of tenure, as bishops no longer resigned their sees or traded them in the same high proportions as previously. The final section,"The Crown and the Episcopate," examines the patterns of episcopal appointments according to the poUtics of the court. Bergin first detaUs the anarchy in the episcopate during the last years of the reUgious wars and shows how Henry IV through a pragmatic poUcy of rewarding supporters and buying off former enemies was able to restore stabiUty to it.The next period of time, the decades from I6l0 to 1630, saw several dramatic changes of power, but, Bergin argues, the pattern of episcopal nominations remained largely consistent.The author finds that RicheUeu's molding of the French episcopate began in earnest only around 1630 but concludes that his impact was vast.The cardinal began the practice of finding out detaUed information about possible nominees which would culminate in Louis XIV's creation ofthefeuille de bénéfices, and with fairly good consistency appointed those who met proper standard ofeducation,training, and behavior.The twenty years ofMazarin's ministry , interrupted during the Fronde by some of the same problems that had occurred in the religious wars, saw the influence of the dévots on improving episcopal appointments but at the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 112-113
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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