New Book | Louis XIV Outside In

Posted in books by Caitlin Smits on December 28, 2015

From Ashgate:

Tony Claydon and Charles-Édouard Levillain eds., Louis XIV Outside In: Images of the Sun King Beyond France, 1661–1715, (Farnham: Ashgate), 231 pages, ISBN: 978-1472431264, $125. 

9781472431264Louis XIV—the ‘Sun King’—casts a long shadow over the history of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe. Yet while he has been the subject of numerous works, much of the scholarship remains firmly rooted within national frameworks and traditions. Thus in France Louis is still chiefly remembered for the splendid baroque culture his reign ushered in, and his political achievements in wielding together a strong centralised French state; whereas in England, the Netherlands and other protestant states, his memory is that of an aggressive military tyrant and persecutor of non-Catholics. 

In order to try to break free of such parochial strictures, this volume builds upon the approach of scholars such as Ragnhild Hatton who have attempted to situate Louis’ legacy within broader, pan-European context. But where Hatton focused primarily on geo-political themes, Louis XIV Outside In introduces current interests in cultural history, integrating aspects of artistic, literary and musical themes. In particular it examines the formulation and use of images of Louis XIV abroad, concentrating on Louis’ neighbours in northwest Europe. This broad geographical coverage demonstrates how images of Louis XIV were moulded by the polemical needs of people far from Versailles and distorted from any French originals by the particular political and cultural circumstances of diverse nations. Because the French regime’s ability to control the public image of its leader was very limited, the collection highlights how—at least in the sphere of public presentation—his power was frequently denied, subverted, or appropriated to very different purposes, questioning the limits of his absolutism which has also been such a feature of recent work.

Tony Claydon is Professor of Early Modern History at Bangor University, Wales. He is author of several books including, William III and the Godly Revolution; (with Ian McBride) ed., Protestantism and National Identity: Britain and Ireland, c.1650–c.1850; William III: Profiles in Power; and Europe and the Making of England, 1660–1760.

Charles-Édouard Levillain is Professor of History at the Université Paris VII Denis Diderot, France. A historian of early modern Britain and Europe, he works primarily on Anglo-Dutch politics in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. He is author of Vaincre Louis XIV: Angleterre-Hollande-France: Histoire d’une relation tiangulaire (1665–1688) (Champ Vallon, 2010); and Un glaive pour un royaume: La querelle de la milice dans l’Angleterre du XVIIe siècle (Honoré Champion, 2014).

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊


List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors

Introduction: Louis XIV Upside Down? Interpreting the Sun King’s Image, Tony Claydon and Charles-Édouard Levillain
1  Image Battles under Louis XIV: Some Reflections, Hendrik Ziegler
2   Francophobia in Late-17th-Century England, Tim Harris
3  ‘We Have Better Materials for Clothes, They, Better Taylors’: The Influence of La Mode on the Clothes of Charles II and James II, Maria Hayward
4  The Court of Louis XIV and the English Public Sphere: Worlds Set Apart?, Stéphane Jettot
5  Popular English Perceptions of Louis XIV’s Way of War, Jamel Ostwald
6  Louis XIV, James II and Ireland, D.W. Hayton
7  Lampooning Louis XIV: Romeyn de Hooghe’s Harlequin Prints, 1688–89, Henk van Nierop
8  Foe and Fatherland: The Image of Louis XIV in Dutch Songs, Donald Haks
9  Amsterdam and the Ambassadors of Louis XIV 1674–85, Elizabeth Edwards
10  Millenarian Portraits of Louis XIV, Lionel Laborie


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s