Prisoners and Popery

New publications:

Morieux, Renaud. “French Prisoners of War, Conflicts of Honour, and Social Inversions in England, 1744-1783.” The Historical Journal (2013).
During the wars of the eighteenth century, French prisoners on parole in Britain were placed in a paradoxical situation of captives with privileges. Instead of studying these men as if they dwelt in a world apart, this article focuses on captivity zones as a social laboratory, where people of different status would socialize. These spaces accordingly provide a lens through which to glimpse the repercussions of international conflicts at the level of local communities. The disputes which opposed these captives to the English population, which were the object of letters of complaints sent by the French prisoners to the authorities, shed light on the normative and moral resources which were used by eighteenth-century Englishmen and Frenchmen to legitimize themselves in situations of social conflict. As a configuration characterized by shifting social relations, the parole zone brought together local, national, and international issues, intertwined primarily in the rhetoric of honour. In these incidents, there was no systematic alignment of class and national discourses and actions, while the precise standing of these Frenchmen on the social ladder was constantly challenged and debated. The resulting quarrels therefore reveal a series of social inversions: dominant groups in France were in many respects dominated in England. Rather than being a mere reflection of pre-existing social hierarchies, such micro-incidents reinvented them.

And then there’s:

Glickman, Gabriel. “Christian Reunion, the Anglo-French Alliance and the English Catholic Imagination, 1660-72.” English Historical Review 128, no. 531 (2013): 263-291.
The Anglo-French Treaty of Dover has acquired notoriety due to its secret ‘Catholic’ clauses: the promised conversion of Charles II and the declared goal of reconciliation between the churches of England and Rome. Hitherto, these terms have been examined either as a cynical diplomatic gambit by Charles II or the start of a push towards catholic absolutism by a Stuart court faction. This article aims alternatively to locate the treaty within the ideological traditions of the English Catholic community, concentrating on the circle of priests and scholars connected to Lord Treasurer Thomas Clifford, whose writings incubated the vision of a grand reunion of Christendom. It argues that the new alliance was envisaged as an opportunity not merely to change the English religious settlement but to promote reform within the catholic world, unravelling Tridentine standards of uniformity to accommodate the practices of national churches. The project was designed to respond to trends in international diplomacy, to engage points of intellectual attraction between England and France, and, above all, to raise awareness of shared principles that could unite Gallican Catholicism with the Church of England. Yet the conception of French religion presented by the architects of the treaty was drawn out of encounters with an irenic minority within the Paris convents and seminaries, unrepresentative of the attitudes of church and state. As the treaty became exposed to public scrutiny, the disjuncture between this image and the reality embodied by Louis XIV brought serious implications for those English Catholics who had invested so heavily in the reputation of the kingdom of France.

Abstracts sure are getting long these days. But that’s a good thing.


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