This volume is the first book-length study devoted to gossip in early modern France. Whereas many works that focus on other countries and periods have concentrated on the relationship between gossip and women, none has explored the crucial link between gossip and same-sex desire. Using material that has never been published before and touching on different social spheres, from valets to the immediate circle of Louis XIV, the author reveals a world radically different from the traditional image of France under the reigns of Louis XIII and Louis XIV. An in-depth analysis of the theory and practice of gossip is followed by an examination of songs, poems, memoirs, letters and anecdotes from the time, bringing the milieu of what was known as ‘the Italian vice’ vividly to life. The book concludes by bringing these insights on gossip to a refreshing new reading of one of the period’s groundbreaking novels, Marie-Madeleine de Lafayette’s La Princesse de Clèves.
Rhetoric, Literature and Religion in Early Modern France - Essays in Honour of Peter Bayley
Edited by Nicholas Hammond and Michael Moriarty
This collection of essays by leading scholars from France, Great Britain and North America is published in honour of Peter Bayley, former Drapers Professor of French at the University of Cambridge and a leading scholar of early modern France. The volume reflects his scholarly interest in the interface between religion, rhetoric and literature in the period 1500–1800. The first three sections of the book are concerned with the early modern period. The contributors consider subjects including the eloquence of oration from the pulpit, the relationship between religion, culture and belief, and the role of theatre and ceremony during the seventeenth century. They engage with individuals such as the theologian Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, the dramatists Molière, Racine and Corneille, and the philosophers Bayle and Pascal. The volume concludes with a section that is concerned with critical influences and contexts from the sixteenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Throughout, the authors offer stimulating new perspectives on an age that never ceases to intrigue and fascinate.