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The European Nobility in the Eighteenth Century

Author(s):
Publisher:

Red Globe Press

Pages: 253
Series:

European Culture and Society

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Paperback - 9780333652107

06 September 2003

$44.99

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Ebook - 9781403937735

16 July 2003

$35.99

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The position of the nobility depended on a stable world which accepted their authority: but, in the eighteenth century, that world was becoming increasingly fractured as a result of social and economic developments and new...

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The position of the nobility depended on a stable world which accepted their authority: but, in the eighteenth century, that world was becoming increasingly fractured as a result of social and economic developments and new ideas. Since nobles were, in economic terms, an extremely disparate group, ranging from the near destitute to the unimaginably wealthy, how could this ruling class preserve a coherent identity? Was wealth more important than birth or education? How should wealth be retained or accumulated? And what role did women play in shoring up noble pre-eminence?

In this wide-ranging study, Jerzy Lukowski addresses these issues, and shows the pressures and tensions - both from governments and from the lower orders - which challenged traditional ruling groups in Europe during the century before the French Revolution. Lukowski explains the basic mechanisms of noble existence and examines how the European aristocracy sought to maintain a sense of solidarity in the midst of widespread change.

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The first thematic treatment of the eighteenthcentury European aristocracy
A wideranging study which covers Europe from Spain to Russia, and from Sweden to Sicilly
Explains the basic mechanisms of noble existence, the crucial role played by noblewomen, and surveys the problems posed by the French Revolution

Preface
Map 1: Europe, c. 1721
Map 2: Europe, c. 1790
Nobility in the Eighteenth Century: a Survey
Ennoblement
The Nobility and the State
The Education of the Nobility
Nobles' Resources
Inheritance
Nobles' Life Styles
Noble Authority
Noblewomen
Epilogue: the European Nobility and the French Revolution
Notes
Bibliography
Index.

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JERZY LUKOWSKI is Senior Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Birmingham.

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JERZY LUKOWSKI is Senior Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Birmingham.

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