Blood and Violence in Early Modern France by Stuart Carroll

By Stuart Carroll

French manners and civility have been the version for eu civilization, whereas feud is linked to backward societies. but in France hundreds of thousands of fellows died in duels during which the meant ideas of honour have been frequently flouted. during this distinct and unique booklet Stuart Carroll explores the character of vengeance and divulges the darkish part of Renaissance civilization.

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And they did not stop there. In the Charlus château at Poligny the murder was depicted on frescoes, so that any visitor would have been immediately aware of the story. ⁷² The manuscript history of the Quiqueran-Castellane feud is a precious, perhaps even unique, source. To privilege one type of source over another will not get us very far, as the record of exchange and counter-exchange is always patchy. In her monumental study of thousands of late medieval letters of pardon Claude Gauvard has argued that their ubiquity ensured that ‘before being totally repressed by the authorities, the dispute process had found the means to limit the feud .

16 Introduction contributed to the sense of time as cyclical rather than linear: the Middle Ages was contrasted favourably as an age of stability and uncorrupted morals. ⁵⁶ But there was also widespread recognition that something new (and therefore pernicious) was happening. Human vengeance is always limited by a sense of justice and reciprocity. ⁵⁷ In his essay ‘On Cruelty’ Montaigne could find nothing to compare in ancient history to the delight in senseless killing he witnessed in the Wars of Religion.

Beauverger shared the justice of the parish of Sayat with two others: the countess of Lude and the seigneur de Rochedragon, with whom he was in enmity ‘over an ancient awning twenty five to thirty paces from the church where for all time the officers of the justice had held their assizes’. Rochedragon claimed that the awning belonged exclusively to him and he evicted the judges of his two co-seigneurs. Arbitration was attempted but failed. One day on leaving church Rochedragon ordered his men to pack up the awning and carry it off with them.

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