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War, Government and Power in Late Medieval France$
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Christopher Allmand

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780853236955

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846314421

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Commynes on Kingship1

Commynes on Kingship1

(p.106) 7 Commynes on Kingship1
War, Government and Power in Late Medieval France

Joël Blanchard

Liverpool University Press

This chapter focuses on the power and exercise of kingship by analysing the ideas of the French writer and diplomat Philippe de Commynes. Unlike most of his contemporaries, who accorded almost divine powers to King Louis XI of France, Commynes portrayed him as a very ordinary man. The chapter explains that Commynes did this because he knew the king to be a human being; he was able to observe him during his very close, everyday relationship with the king over the years. Louis used power in a very different way, rejecting the pomp and ceremony associated with court life. Commynes's private conversations with Louis XI were among the new realities of the court at the end of the medieval period and lay at the core of his vision of kingship that he set out in his Mémoires.

Keywords:   France, power, kingship, King Louis XI, Philippe de Commynes, Mémoires, court life

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