Notorious Women: Marriage and the Novel in Crisis in France 1690–1710
Anxiety about the survival of family estates was high in the final decades of Louis XIV’s reign, when so many forces must have seemed to be conspiring to end an era of prosperity. The last peace treaty that brought the country substantial new territorial gain was signed in 1678. From then on, the national estate was consistently eroded, as the ageing monarch lost territories conquered when he was still the rising Sun King. Family estates were squandered to maintain the ostentatious pomp de rigueur at Versailles. And money was drained from all coffers to finance the enormous expense of an endless series of disastrous wars, wars that made many women widows when they were still young enough to renegotiate their legacies.
KeywordsExpense Editing Heroine Plague Prose
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