Illustrations Introduction Part I: Functions for Sale 1. Colbert and the Sale of Offices 2.Voltaire and Venality: The Ambiguities of an Abuse 3. Secular Simony: The Clergy and the Sale of Offices in Eighteenth-Century France 4. Changing Notions of Public Corruption (c.1770-1850) Part II: The Old Order Disintegrates 5. The Union with Ireland in a European Context 6. The French Revolution: Possible because Thinkable or Thinkable because Possible? 7. Desacralising Desacralisation 8. The French Revolution and Monarchy 9. The American Revolution and the European Nobility Part III :Napoleon: An Undemocratic Revolutionary 10. The Napoleonic Nobility Revisited 11. Napoleon, Women and the French Revolution 12. The Political Culture of the French Empire 13. Revolutionary Napoleon Notes Index
From the turmoil and tragedy of the French Revolution to rise and fall of the enigmatic figure of Napoleon Bonaparte, the history of France between 1789 and 1815 is one of the most enduringly fascinating - and widely-studied - periods of history. This book will be essential reading for anyone interested in French Revolution and Napoleonic Europe.
William Doyle FBA is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Bristol and a Fellow of the British Academy. Among his many publications are The Oxford History of the French Revolution (2nd edn, 2002) and an earlier volume of essays, Officers, Nobles and Revolutionaries (1995). More recent books include Aristocracy and its Enemies in the Age of Revolution (2009) and the edited Oxford Handbook of the Ancient Regime (2011).
"This book reveals the ever fertile mind of Bill Doyle in all its many facets, from the carefully researched, intricate minutiae of venality and finance in Ancien Regime France, to the grand sweep of the fall of monarchies and the roots of revolution across the western world in the Age of Revolutions. There is a fresh insight and a refreshing dash of much needed iconoclasm, on every page. Doyle is a scholar who continues to provoke, instruct and inspire, in prose as sparkling and clear as a vintage Champagne." -Michael Broers, Professor of Western European History, University of Oxford. "Here is William Doyle at his finest. In this book, distilling his most recent research, this master historian of the Old Regime and French Revolution explores key issues in the collapse, and rebuilding of French state and society from Louis XIV through Napoleon. In typical Doyle fashion, the chapters emphasize contingency, complexity, and continuity By steering clear of determinisms and refusing to treat the French Revolution as inevitable, Doyle makes palpable the sense of possibility that infused those heady times." - Rafe Blaufarb, Professor of History and Director of the Institute on Napoleon and the French Revolution, Florida State University.