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A Lust for Virtue: Louis XIV’s Attack on Sin in by Philip F. Riley PDF

By Philip F. Riley

ISBN-10: 0313317089

ISBN-13: 9780313317088

Midway via his reign, within the severe decade of the 1680s, the lusty photo of Louis XIV paled and used to be changed by means of that of a straitlaced monarch dedicated to locking up blasphemers, borrowers, gamblers, and prostitutes in wretched, foul-smelling prisons that distributed plentiful doses of Catholic-Reformation advantage. the writer demonstrates how this assault on sin expressed the punitive social coverage of the French Catholic Reformation and the way Louis's activities clarified the criminal and ethical differences among crime and sin.

As a hot-blooded younger prince, Louis XIV paid little awareness to advantage or to sin and, regardless of his loved identify of God's so much Christian King, violations of God's 6th and 9th Commandments by no means stricken him. certainly, for the 1st twenty years of his reign, he paraded a move of royal mistresses earlier than all of Europe and fathered 16 illegitimate young children. but, halfway via his reign, within the severe decade of the 1680s, the lusty snapshot of Louis XIV paled and used to be changed through that of a straitlaced monarch dedicated to locking up blasphemers, borrowers, gamblers, and prostitutes in wretched, foul-smelling prisons that allotted abundant doses of Catholic-Reformation virtue.

Using police and legal documents, administrative correspondence, memoirs, and letters, Riley describes the formation of Louis's slim sense of right and wrong and his efforts to shield his matters' souls via attacking sin and infusing his state with advantage, particularly in Paris and at Versailles. all through his assault on sin, women--so-called squaddies of Satan--were the specified ambitions of the police. through the 17th century, fornication and adultery had turn into completely lady crimes; males in charge of those sins have been hardly punished as significantly. even if unsuccessful, Louis's assault on sin clarified the criminal and ethical differences among crime and sin in addition to the futility of implementing a religiously encouraged social coverage on an irreverent, secular-minded France.

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Extra info for A Lust for Virtue: Louis XIV’s Attack on Sin in Seventeenth-Century France

Sample text

He had work to do. Well before the Touchets had arrived at the scaffold, Guillaume and his assistants had placed two large carriage wheels, each anchored horizontally on its own waist-high pedestal, near the front of the scaffold. Behind the carriage wheels he had erected two prone, X-shaped “SaintAndrew crosses,” made by joining two long beams of hard wood. Before François and René were brought to the scaffold, they had been Watchdog of Parisian Sin 17 stripped of all clothing except for a loincloth.

No tobacco, no gambling, no bottled wine, and no communication with unapproved visitors were permitted. 48 Despite the proximity of the large clerical community of the abbey of Saint-Germain des Prés, discipline within the prison deteriorated and by 1699 was practically nonexistent. Conditions were so appalling by July 1697 the Parlement of Paris ordered the prison vacated until the archbishop of Paris had conducted a wholesale review of its operations and instilled better discipline. Archbishop de Noailles acknowledged that the twenty-one young men currently housed in the prison were indeed a handful for their wardens.

53 Several examples of physical abuse were cited in the 1697 report. The most disturbing was that of a ninety-five-year-old cleric who had been incarcerated for forty years. He was lucid and alert; nevertheless, the “guardian angels” forced him to join a march of the prison’s certified lunatics. On one occasion the poor old priest could not keep up Watchdog of Parisian Sin 37 with the ragged squad as they paraded him in the prison courtyard; the “guardian angels” beat him with their batons, breaking his nose and permanently disfiguring his face.

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A Lust for Virtue: Louis XIV’s Attack on Sin in Seventeenth-Century France by Philip F. Riley


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