French Cowardice and English Vigor
… was my shorthand working title for a book chapter that’s finally been released. Selected papers from the 2012 Louis XIV Outside In conference have just been published in a collection that should be read by everyone interested in France, Britain and the Netherlands during Louis XIV’s reign.
In order to try to break free of such parochial strictures, this volume builds upon the approach of scholars such as Ragnhild Hatton who have attempted to situate Louis’ legacy within broader, pan-European context. But where Hatton focused primarily on geo-political themes, Louis XIV Outside In introduces current interests in cultural history, integrating aspects of artistic, literary and musical themes. In particular it examines the formulation and use of images of Louis XIV abroad, concentrating on Louis’ neighbours in north west Europe. This broad geographical coverage demonstrates how images of Louis XIV were moulded by the polemical needs of people far from Versailles, and distorted from any French originals by the particular political and cultural circumstances of diverse nations. Because the French regime’s ability to control the public image of its leader was very limited, the collection highlights how – at least in the sphere of public presentation – his power was frequently denied, subverted, or appropriated to very different purposes, questioning the limits of his absolutism which has also been such a feature of recent work.
Introduction: Louis XIV Upside Down? Interpreting the Sun King’s Image 1
Tony Claydon and Charles-Édouard Levillain
- Image Battles under Louis XIV: Some Reflections 25
- Francophobia in Late-Seventeenth-Century England 37
- ‘We Have Better Materials for Clothes, They, Better Taylors’: The Influence of La Mode on the Clothes of Charles II and James II 57
- The Court of Louis XIV and the English Public Sphere: Worlds Set Apart? 77
- Popular English Perceptions of Louis XIV’s Way of War 93
- Louis XIV, James II and Ireland 111
D. W. Hayton
- Lampooning Louis XIV: Romeyn de Hooghe’s Harlequin Prints,
Henk van Nierop
- Foe and Fatherland: The Image of Louis XIV in Dutch Songs 165
- Amsterdam and the Ambassadors of Louis XIV 1674–85 187
- Millenarian Portraits of Louis XIV 209
Thanks to Tony Claydon and Charles Levillain for putting the conference, and the volume, together. Hopefully this won’t be the last book in Ashgate’s Politics and Culture in Europe, 1650-1750 series!