In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

326 THE CANADIAN HISTORICAL REVIEW whichwerehardest hit by epidemics, that is,thepoorest areas.But in general, the whole area sufferedfrom chronic under-development throughout the eighteenth century, a periodusually thought to bemarked byeconomic expansion .The grandiose schemes of localand royalgovernments to improveagriculture ,floodcontrol,transport, and publichygiene wereneverimplemented. The economic growthand the pangsof 'differentialurbanization' which CharlesTilly foundin eighteenth-century Anjou seemlargelyconfined to a fewsmallregions. Perhaps themostfascinating part of thebookisLebrun's studyof theplace of sickness and death in the popular mentality,basedlargely on religious treatises,rituels, catechisms, sermons, and tracts.For, in a centurywhen medicalscience was,as Lebrun pointsout, closerto popularmagicthan to moderndiagnosis and therapy,supernatural powers in oneway or anotherGodor demons, priests or 'sorciers' -were expected to curesickness (a warning fromGod anda punishment for sin,themaladyof thesoul)andto wardoff, or at leastmakemorebearable,the hand of Death. All the morewasthisthe casebecause Christianity in its Tildenfineform did not arrivein Anjouuntil late, and evenin the eighteenth centuryremainedTun des•l•mentsd'une religion populaire oh foi et superstition sem•lentinextilcablement' (p. 4•5). In a world where magicpredominated, death was an obsession: prayed against, cajoled, accepted, usedasa weapon against one's neighbour in the casting of spells. The celebration of death-the deathof criminals, friends, neighbours, andrelations-was themostsolemn eventin thisworld,andeven afterdeath,in Purgatory, thedeadcontinued toplayan activerolein thelives of thelivingthrough prayerandintercession. Onlyamong thesmall Protestant community and certainmembers of the Catholicelitecanoneseea turning awayfrom thismentality, and alsoperhaps in the lackof protests overthe removalof cemeteries fromthecentres of towns, wheretheirpresence hadonce testified to the continual link between thelivingandthe dead.Butsuchsigns of change in mentality wereasfewaschanges in theeconomy, andAnjou,like Brittanyandmuchof thewestof France, remained apartfromthegreatupheavals of theeighteenth centuryandtheRevolution. T. LE OOFF York University The Revolto[ theJudges: The Parlemento[ Parisandthe,Fronde,•643-•65o. A.•,LoYr• MOOTS.. Princeton, •j, Princeton UniversityPress [Toronto,Saunders], •97•. PP.xvi,407.$•6.5o. No historianin his right mind shouldbecomeinvolvedwith the. Fronde. Professor Moore hasnot onlyignoredthat conventional bit of wisdom,he has successfully ignoredit. The resultisthebestworkin Englishon thefiveyears of confusion that besetFrancein the mid seventeenth century.But the reader REVIEWS 327 receives morethan a coherent account of the Frondeitself.The years•643 to •648 aretreatedasan integralpartof the story.Further,Professor Mooteboth tracesthe more remotehistoryof the problemsthat led to the Fronde and provides someinteresting thoughts on the importanceof the Frondefor thefate of royalgovernment duringthe remainingyearsof the reignof LouisxIv. Havinggonesofar in praise it mustbesaidimmediately that nosingle book on the Frondecouldbe perfect,includingthisone.An additionalchapteron the personnel of the Parlementof Pariswouldhavebeenveryusefulsincethat court's actions loomsolargein theaccount of theFrondeprovided byProfessor Moote. This focus,itself,sometimes interferes with and prevents a full treatmentof certainaspects of the Fronde,particularlythemotivations of the great nobles. Occasionally the readerloses thesense of theprogression of events. The author could have profitablyusedmore of the ministerialand diplomatic correspondence. The Mazarinades couldhavebeenusedmorefully and effectively . More preciseinfomarion on the French economy would have helped the reader.But the fact remainsthat thisbookcomes closerto perfectionthan anyotherbookonthesubject in anylanguage. The weakest part of the bookis the firstchapter,'FrenchGovernmentand Society in •6•o.' The Francethat isdescribed ismuchmorethe Franceof the •63o or early •64osthan that of •6•o. However, the comments on the Parlement of Paris in this chapter are excellent.In succeeding chaptersMoote placesthe Frondein the contextof the growingresistance of royal officials, especially those of the Parlement of Paris,to the policies of the royalgovernment . This resistance becameparticularlyapparentfrom •643 onward.As the subtitleindicates,the Fronde itself, which is divided into six phases, is seen primarilyfrom the viewpointof the Parlement of Paris.The otherloci are the centralgovernment and Mazarin. The latter is judgedmore harshlyin this bookthanisoftenthecase. With theexception of late •65• andearly•652 the complexity of the events arekeptin checkand thepointof viewchosen by the authorserves well, on the whole,to presentthe full storyof the Fronde.The end resultof readingthisbookis to realizethat the Parlementof Pariswasa more effectiveand independentorgan of the royal administrationthan was previously believed and to realizethat its effortsto achieve governmental reform were rewardedwith moresuccess than that obtainedby mostreformers duringthe Old Regime.As a consequence of thisrealization, opinions about thesuccess ofLouisx•v'spersonal rulemustbereassessed. This is the bookwith which to begina studyof the Fronde. Moote'sfootnoteswill directthe readerto thoseworkswhichpresentviewswhich diverge fromhis,whichthe readercanthenconsider. In theend,havingconsidered the evidence presented by others,Moote'sbookwill be the oneto comebackto, not in complete agreement, perhaps, but with the recognition...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1710-1093
Print ISSN
0008-3755
Pages
pp. 326-327
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-06
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.