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 by way 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 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 felony 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 such a lot Christian King, violations of God's 6th and 9th Commandments by no means bothered him. certainly, for the 1st 20 years of his reign, he paraded a movement of royal mistresses earlier than all of Europe and fathered 16 illegitimate youngsters. but, halfway via his reign, within the severe 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 documents, administrative correspondence, memoirs, and letters, Riley describes the formation of Louis's slender moral sense and his efforts to shield his matters' souls by means of attacking sin and infusing his state with advantage, specifically in Paris and at Versailles. all through his assault on sin, women--so-called squaddies of Satan--were the designated goals of the police. by means of the 17th century, fornication and adultery had turn into solely woman crimes; males to blame of those sins have been infrequently punished as seriously. 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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Extra info for A Lust for Virtue: Louis XIV’s Attack on Sin in Seventeenth-Century France
Between 1674 and 1684, when the aged prisons of the Châtelet were being refurbished, felons and military prisoners had been temporarily assigned here. Beginning in 1679, the abbey prison was expressly intended for the moral improvement of thirty to forty young men under the age of twenty-five. For three hundred livres a year, affluent bourgeoisie could send their delinquent sons there for moral correction. Housed in individual chambers, each with a devotional icon on the wall, the boys would begin each day with Mass, followed by communal prayer and Watchdog of Parisian Sin 35 regular spiritual instruction throughout the day.
Bérulle continued, Certainly a king is a sun in his kingdom, a living sun whose very presence energizes his kingdom and dispels the fog of rebellion. His movements regularize the seasons and mark the distinction of persons and office. 23 Bérulle’s ideas and imagery not only shaped the thought of an entire generation of French theologians, including Saint Vincent de Paul and Louis’s favorite court orator, Bishop Bossuet, they suggested the special powers of his police. 24 SINFUL PARIS To Louis XIV Paris was a natural haven for debauchery sorely in need of strict police and harsh discipline.
113. 27. Louis XIV, Mémoires de Louis XIV pour l’instruction du dauphin, ed. Charles Dreyss (Paris: Didier, 1860), 2: 420; hereafter cited as Mémoires de Louis XIV. 28. Archives Nationales, Paris, Sécretariat d’état de la maison du roi. AN MS O126 fols. 112–14. Hereafter cited as O1. 29. John B. W. Norton, 1968), pp. 162–70. 30. H. Druon, Histoire de l’éducation des princes dans la maison des Bourbons de France (Paris: P. Lethielleux, 1897), 1: 171. 31. , 1: 166. 32. de Beaumont de Péréfixe, Instruction, p.
A Lust for Virtue: Louis XIV’s Attack on Sin in Seventeenth-Century France by Philip F. Riley