Provides an account of Louis XVI's reign. This book divides his story into three periods: the first 12 years of Louis' reign reveals the secret workings of absolute monarchy; the second covers the period 1787-89 and the third, from 1789-93 focuses on the King's attitude toward the Revolution.
The reign of Louis XVI, which ended with the guillotining of Louis followed by that of his wife Marie Antoinette in 1793, is a crucial part of French history. John Hardman, who has spent many years tracking down the primary sources, presents an account of Louis' reign. Hardman divides his story into three periods. His account of the first 12 years of Louis' reign, from 1774 to 1786 reveals the secret workings of absolute monarchy in the last stage of its development. During this period, Hartman shows, the king was capable but also austere, enigmatic and at times callous. The second part of the book, from 1787 to 1789, opens with Louis' great personal reform initiative presented to the Assembly of Notables as a pivot of the reign. Here Hardman discusses the disintegration of the regime, the loss of Louis' personal composure, and the corresponding rise in the influece of Marie Antoinette. The king's often misunderstood attitude to the Estates-General in 1789, he argues, determined the whole character and course of the French Revolution. The main theme of the last section, from 1789 to 1793 is the king's attitude toward the Revolution as embodied in the Constitution of 1791. However, the political drama is also partially replaced by a human one: as Louis' political role declines, his character, tempered by suffering, becomes more sympathetic. In the end, Louis emerges as a ruler with clear ideas and a genuine concern for the French people.
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: PART ONE: YEARS OF HOPE 1. Early Life 2. 1774: The New King and the Old Parlement 3. Maurepas and Turgot 4. 'The Price of Victory: 1 1776-81 5. The last Years of the Ancien Regime, 1781-86 6. Foreign Policy, 1774-87 PART TWO: DEFEAT, 1787-89 1. 'The Convocation of the Assembly of Notables 3 the Ministry of Lomenie de Brienne, lby 1787-August 1788 4. Preparations for the estates. the Silent King and the Estates PART THREE: CAPTIVITY AND FLIGHT 1. Residence in Paris preparations for FIight, October 1790-June 1791 3. Varennes 4. The last Year of the monarchy: 13 September-August 1792. 5. 'The Prisoner of the Temple. EPILOGUE. APPENDIX: A NOTE ON THE CENTRAL INSTITUTION OF THE ANCIEN REGIME.
Louis XVI by John Hardman
Used - Very Good
Yale University Press
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