By Philip F. Riley

Midway via his reign, within the serious decade of the 1680s, the lusty photograph of Louis XIV paled and used to be changed via that of a straitlaced monarch devoted to locking up blasphemers, borrowers, gamblers, and prostitutes in wretched, foul-smelling prisons that allotted considerable doses of Catholic-Reformation advantage. the writer demonstrates how this assault on sin expressed the punitive social coverage of the French Catholic Reformation and the way Louis's activities clarified the criminal and ethical differences among crime and sin.

As a hot-blooded younger prince, Louis XIV paid little consciousness to advantage or to sin and, regardless of his loved identify of God's so much Christian King, violations of God's 6th and 9th Commandments by no means stricken him. certainly, for the 1st 20 years of his reign, he paraded a flow of royal mistresses sooner than all of Europe and fathered 16 illegitimate youngsters. but, halfway via his reign, within the serious decade of the 1680s, the lusty picture of Louis XIV paled and was once changed by means of that of a straitlaced monarch devoted to locking up blasphemers, borrowers, gamblers, and prostitutes in wretched, foul-smelling prisons that disbursed plentiful doses of Catholic-Reformation virtue.

Using police and criminal files, administrative correspondence, memoirs, and letters, Riley describes the formation of Louis's slim judgment of right and wrong and his efforts to guard his topics' souls by means of attacking sin and infusing his nation with advantage, specially in Paris and at Versailles. all through his assault on sin, women--so-called infantrymen of Satan--were the particular objectives of the police. through the 17th century, fornication and adultery had turn into completely lady crimes; males responsible of those sins have been not often punished as critically. even though unsuccessful, Louis's assault on sin clarified the criminal and ethical differences among crime and sin in addition to the futility of imposing a religiously encouraged social coverage on an irreverent, secular-minded France.

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A Lust for Virtue: Louis XIV's Attack on Sin in Seventeenth-Century France (Contributions in Afro-American & African Studies) by Philip F. Riley


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