In this Book

buy this book Buy This Book in Print
summary
A social historian of modern France, Robert Forster discovered a series of father-to-son letters that presented an unusual opportunity to trace in human terms the impact of institutions and cultural norms on eighteenth-century French society. From these letters and other family papers, Forster reconstructed a family biography of the Deponts of La Rochelle over four generations. Their story affords new insights into the workings of institutions—economic, religious, legal, administrative—the mentality of provincial notables, the world of Parisian high finance and salon society, and the response of a socially mobile family to the challenges of the century, climaxing in the French Revolution of 1789. Forster demonstrates how real people in an upwardly mobile family coped with their changing society, moved from overseas trade to local and then national office, managed their wealth, treated their children, and then parried the psychological shocks accompanying their ascent to status and power. It is the story not of a "class" response to abstract trends or forces identified by the historian in retrospect but of flesh-and-blood human beings grappling with day-to-day decisions and revealing a full range of human ambiguity and inconsistency. This study offers perspective on the emergence by 1800 of a new elite in France—a social amalgam of landlords, administrators, and professional men, inculcated with a national awareness and a cautious political liberalism. These were the notables who would govern France in the next century. Forster's approach, uncommon among social historians, combines narrative and analytical modes of historiography. Based on archival materials in La Rochelle and Paris, the book blends economic, social, cultural, and political history.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. open access View |
  1. Copyright Page
  2. open access View |
  1. Halftitle
  2. p. i
  3. open access View |
  1. Frontispiece
  2. p. ii
  3. open access View |
  1. Title Page
  2. p. iii
  3. open access View |
  1. Copyright
  2. p. iv
  3. open access View |
  1. Dedication
  2. p. v
  3. open access View |
  1. Contents
  2. p. vii
  3. open access View |
  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-x
  3. open access View |
  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xii
  3. open access View |
  1. Part I. First Ascent
  2. p. 2
  3. open access View |
  1. One. Paul-François Depont: Ennobled Merchant
  2. pp. 3-24
  3. open access View |
  1. Two. The Mentality of a Provincial Notable
  2. pp. 25-48
  3. open access View |
  1. Part II. Family Fortune
  2. p. 49
  3. open access View |
  1. Three. Marshaling Assets
  2. pp. 51-76
  3. open access View |
  1. Four. The Land: The Depont Domains over Three Generations (1700–1789)
  2. pp. 77-107
  3. open access View |
  1. Part III. Royal Administrator
  2. p. 109
  3. open access View |
  1. Five. Apprenticeship and Marriage
  2. pp. 111-127
  3. open access View |
  1. Six. Intendant of Moulins and Metz
  2. pp. 128-150
  3. open access View |
  1. Seven. Douceur de Vivre
  2. pp. 151-173
  3. open access View |
  1. Part IV. Revolution and Survival
  2. p. 175
  3. open access View |
  1. Eight. A Young French Gentleman in Paris
  2. pp. 177-206
  3. open access View |
  1. Nine. Survival: Metz, La Rochelle, and Paris
  2. pp. 207-229
  3. open access View |
  1. Epilogue. Thirteen Portraits
  2. pp. 230-231
  3. open access View |
  1. Notes
  2. pp. 233-268
  3. open access View |
  1. Index
  2. pp. 269-275
  3. open access View |

Additional Information

ISBN
9781421430027
Related ISBN
9781421430812
MARC Record
OCLC
1117489024
Launched on MUSE
2019-09-12
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
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.