EARLY MODERN FRANCE
Professor Susan E. Dinan
Office 306 Hoxie Hall
Office Hours Mondays and Wednesdays 11:30-12:30, Wednesdays 4:00-5:00,
and by appointmentYes, it’s true, this semester you get to learn
all about the MOST interesting country on earth during its MOST interesting
historical moment. Lucky you. My goal this semester is to provide you
with a outline of the major political, social, cultural and economic
events that shaped France between 1515 and 1789. I also intend to help
you sharpen your analytic and writing skills this semester.
This course is Writing Intensive. You will write three papers over the
course of this semester. Each paper must be 7-8 pages in length. The
first paper analyzes the articles written by Finlay and Davis about
The Return of Martin Guerre and the role of the historian as interpreter
of events. The other two papers examine topics that you will choose.
These papers will investigate how different historians interpret an
event, individual or idea. These two paper must grapple with the ideas
of at least 4 different historians and at least 2 of the sources must
not be readings for this class. Use the bibliography to help shape a
reading list for your paper. These papers als require an annotated bibliography
be handed in two weeks before the paper’s submission. It is mandatory
that all students see our Writing Fellow about each paper before it
is handed into the instructor. No papers will be accepted unless they
a meeting has been held with our Writing Fellow. Papers will be returned
to students with copious comments made by the instructor, the first
and second papers must be re-written in response to the comments, the
last paper will not be re-written.
This class is largely a forum for discussion and the exchange of ideas.
Your participation is critical. Any student missing more than 3 classes
will have his or her grade lowered. All students are expected to contribute
to class discussions. On discussion days we will read essays of prominent
historians and the class period will be devoted to examining different
historians’ interpretations of and events. Students will choose
a topic of interest and lead the discussion on that day.
Please follow some basic rules in our class. Arrive on time. Do not
come and go in the middle of class except for a dire emergency; getting
coffee is not an emergency. Turn off your cell phones and beepers. Bring
the books and reader on discussion days. Take notes during lecture and
First Paper 25%
Second Paper 25%
Third Paper 25%
Final Exam 15%
Barbara Diefendorf, Beneath the Cross. New York, NY: Oxford University
Dena Goodman, Marie Antoinette: Writings on the Body of a Queen. NY:
R. J. Knect, Richelieu. New York, NY: Routledge, 1991.
Voltaire, Candide. NY: Bedford/St. Martin's, 1999.
Week One Introduction
9/8 Introduction and Film: The Return of Martin Guerre
9/10 Film: The Return of Martin Guerre
Readings Robert Finlay, “The Refashioning of Martin Guerre”
in The American Historical Review 93 / 3 (1988): 553-571.
Natalie Zemon Davis, “On the Lame” in The American Historical
Review 93 / 3 (1988): 572-603.
Week Two The 3 Estates
9/17 The Three Estates
Readings Pierre Goubert, “The French Peasantry of the Seventeenth
Century: A Regional Example” in T. Aston, ed. Crisis in Europe,
1560-1660. NY: Basic Books, 1965. 150-176.
Robert Darnton, “The Great Cat Massacre” in The Great Cat
Massacre and other Episodes in French Cultural History. NY: Basic Books,
Week Three Urban France
9/22 Urban France
Darnton, “Peasants Tell Tales” in The Great Cat Massacre
and other Episodes in French Cultural History. NY: Basic Books, 1984.
Carol Loats, “Gender, Guilds and Work Identity” French Historical
Studies 20/1 (1977): 15-30..
* First Paper Due in Class 9/24 *
Week Four France during the Renaissance and Reformation
9/29 The Renaissance in France
10/1 The Reformation in France
Readings Barbara Diefendorf, Beneath the Cross. New York, NY: Oxford
University Press, 1991. Pages 3-106
Week Five France during the Renaissance and Reformation
10/6 NO CLASS
Readings Barbara Diefendorf, Beneath the Cross. New York, NY: Oxford
University Press, 1991. Pages 107-180
Week Six Seventeenth-Century Politics
10/13 Henri IV and the End of Religious War
10/15 Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu
Readings R. J. Knect, Richelieu. NY: Routledge, 1991. Ch. 1, 2, 3, 4,
8 & 9
D. Parker, “The Social Foundations of French Absolutism, 1610—1630”,
Past and Present 53 (1971).
* Annotated Bibliography due 10/15*
Week Seven Seventeenth-Century Politics
10/22The Minority of Louis XIV and the Fronde
Readings R.J. Bonney, “The French Civil War, 1649-1653”,
European Studies Review 8 (1978).
Ralph Giesey, "State-building in Early Modern France. The Role
of Royal Officialdom," Journal of Modern History 55 (1983).
Jeffrey Merrick, “The Cardinal and the Queen” French Historical
Studies 18/3 (1994): 667-699.
Week Eight Seventeenth-Century Politics
10/27 Louis XIV Domestic Policy
10/29 Louis XIV Foreign Policy
Readings Ralph E. Giesey, ‘The King Imagined’ in Keith Michael
Baker, ed., The French Revolution and the Creation of Modern Political
Culture, Volume 1 (Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1987), pp.41-59.
Sharon Kettering, "Brokerage at the Court of Louis XIV," The
Historical Journal, 36/1 (1993), 69-87.
Jeffrey W. Merrick, The Desacralization of the French Monarchy in the
Eighteenth Century. Baton Rouge, 1-48.
* Second Paper Due in class 10/29 *
Week Nine Faiths and Furies
11/5 Seventeenth Century Religion and Witch Hunts
Readings Natalie Zemon Davis, “City Women and Religious Change”
in Society and Culture in Early Modern France (Stanford, CA: Stanford
University Press, 1975), 65-96.
Barbara Diefendorf, “An Age of Gold? Parisian Women, the Holy
League, and the Roots of Catholic Renewal ,” in Changing Identities
in Early Modern France, ed. Michael Wolfe (Durham, NC: Duke University
Press, 1997), 169-190..
Richard M. Golden, “Satan in Europe: The Geography of Witch Hunts,”
in Changing Identities in Early Modern France, ed. Michael Wolfe (Durham,
NC: Duke University Press, 1997), 216-247.
Week Cultural Crises of the Eighteenth Century
11/10 Riot ad Rebellion in Early Modern France
Readings Colin Lucas, "The Crowd and Politics between Ancien Regime
and Revolution in France," Roger Chartier, "Do Books Make
Revolutions?", in The French Revolution in Social and Political
Perspective. NY: Arnold, 1996.
Olwen Hufton. "Social Conflict and the Grain Supply in Eighteenth-
Century France," Journal of Interdisciplinary History 14 (1983):
Week Eleven Gender and the Political Crises of the Eighteenth
11/17 Louis XV
11/19 Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
Readings Dena Goodman, Marie Antoinette: Writings on the Body of a Queen
(NY: Routledge, 2003). Chapters Introduction, 2, 3 and 5.
Kaiser, “Madame de Pompadour and the Theaters of Power”,
French Historical Studies, 1 / 4 (1996): 1025-1044.
Week Twelve The Scientific Revolution
11/26 NO CLASS
* Annotated Bibliography due 11/24 *
Week Thirteen The Enlightenment
12/1 The Enlightenment
Readings Voltaire, Candide (NY: Bedford/St. Martin's, 1999).
Week Fourteen The Coming of the French Revolution
12/8 The End of the Old Regime – Decay and Revolution
Roger Chartier, “Do Books Make Revolutions?” in The Cultural
Origins of the French Revolution. Durham, NC: Duke University Press,
Robert Darnton, “Communication Networks” in The Forbidden
Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France (NY: Norton, 1996, 181-197.
* Third Paper due in Class 12/10 *