Mazarin: The Crisis of Absolutism in France

Front Cover
When Mazarin became First Minister of France in 1643 he inherited a costly war. Ruinously high taxation, arbitrary and oppressive measures of government and opposition at every level threatened the stability of the state. The king was five years old and a long minority was in prospect. It was a time of crisis. Eighteen years later Mazarin died in office, having survived the successive revolts and civil wars known as the Fronde. His reputation was at its peak, as was the prestige of France, his adopted country. Mazarin's character, however, has been so vilified during the previous, turbulent years that in the popular perception he was a charlatan, a mean-spirited but greedy trifler and an adventurer. Geoffrey Treasure argues that Mazarin was in fact a remarkable statesman, subtle, courageous and incredibly hard-working: a man who inspired devotion and respect among those closest to him, above all the king who would benefit by his tutelage in government.

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About the author (1995)

Roger Ellis is the author of the last volume in the Who's Who in British History series and an editor of Winston Churchill's "History of the English Speaking Peoples,"Geoffrey Treasure is a contributor to the "Encyclopedia Britannica "on Europe and the Enlightenment, the "New Dictionary of National Biography, "and the general editor of the eight-volume Who's Who in British History series. Lord Butler served Wilson and Heath as Private Secretary, and Thatcher, Major, and Blair as Cabinet Secretary.

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