The Cult of France and its King: Political Theory in the Mazarinades during the Fronde, 1648-1653

The concept of absolutism – the divine right to rule – dominated the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in France and elsewhere.

By Dr. Thomas C. Sosnowski
Professor of History
Kent State University

Louis XIV’s famous “L’État, c’est moi” of 1661 summarizes candidly the concept of absolutism, the political theory that appeared to dominate the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The concept of its divine underpinnings was an accepted seventeenth-century norm which the court bishop, Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, carefully expounded, especially during the first two decades of the Sun King’s personal rule.[1] His interpretations, however, stemmed from generations of other political thinkers dating back at least to the reign of Francis I in the sixteenth century.[2] Bossuet must have been acquainted with some of their ideas and arguments, but the recent Fronde, 1648-1653, could have also provided him with substantial, if perhaps unorganized theoretical support. This insurrection, contemporaneous with the English Civil War, provided impetus for serious commentaries on the position of monarchs vis-à-vis God and their subjects. Although its original disorganized fury “focused” on limitations of royal power, it ended after five years with none of its aims secured but instead an acceptance of or maybe a resignation to the necessity of absolutism as the only sure alternative to domestic chaos. The proclamation of the king’s majority in 1651, similar to Henry Bourbon’s conversion to Catholicism, made military opposition to the monarch an act of lèse-majesté.

As a major uprising, the Fronde has continued to attract the attention of historians from the influential works of Chéruel in the nineteenth century to the thoughtful and detailed research of Orest Ranum and Hubert Carrier attesting to its importance in understanding French government and society in the Ancien Régime.[3] Within the multiplicity of approaches in examining that series of mid-century insurrections, many historians have found it useful to peruse the voluminous pamphlet literature of this period which reflected the tensions, prejudices, and anxieties of this turbulent quinquennial.[4] Dubbed the mazarinades after the infamous Mazarinadeof Paul Scarron,[5] this literature gives substantial insight into the mid-seventeenth century. The pamphlets number an astounding 4500 different titles as catalogued by the nineteenth-century antiquarian Célestin Moreau and his successors. He maintained that as many as 11,000 were circulated from 1648 to 1653, for each day that emotions ran high as many as six new pamphlets appeared. Moreau’s late twentieth-century progeny, Hubert Carrier, reduced that estimate to approximately 5000 in his monumental re-examination of the mazarinades.[6] The quality of these works varied significantly—from broadsides to full-length books, from sheer slander to sophisticated, political essays.

This literary potpourri offers other avenues for examining Catholic life, both spiritual and political, in seventeenth-century France especially in Paris where most of the pamphlets originated,[7] since they truly elucidate the cultural world of Mazarin’s contemporaries.[8] Religion, morals, piety, and especially politics were ordinary topics for publication during the Fronde, and the mazarinades mirrored the religious assumptions of the day especially when coupled with an examination of Théophraste Renaudot’s Gazette de France a de facto organ of the French government. The Catholic Church did not officially participate in the events of the Fronde, but many of its important personalities were indeed among its active personae from Cardinal Mazarin and the Cardinal de Retz to canon Claude Joly. They explored, sometimes superficially, the position and duties of a Catholic Christian king in a turbulent Europe horrified by the execution of Charles I in England at the hands of the Puritan revolutionaries. The mazarinades permit an historian to understand the Fronde better—as Moreau stated: “The pamphleteer is pre-occupied with the present . . . [but] the author of memoirs is always a lawyer; the pamphleteer is a witness who gives testimony, even against himself.”[9] Nonetheless, Christian Jouhaud asserted that despite the fast-moving turn of events during these unsettled years that these pamphlets were usually carefully edited prior to publication. He claimed that the authors were quick to react but usually careful in crafting their responses.[10] The publishing industry surely thrived while censorship was in abeyance.

In the first place, much like the English (especially Puritans), the French ranked themselves as the chosen people of God. Some French claimed that one could see the active hand of God as early as Carolingian France with the modern French as the true successors of the Frankish kingdom.[11] One pamphleteer despite his distress over the chaos of the Fronde, praised France “whose Christian monarchy God had saved so many times in the midst of her enemies.” The French should rejoice over the good fortune of God’s willingness to defend them: optimism, but not pessimism, should be the attitude of this unique nation.[12] Similarly, another proclaimed that “although all monarchies of the world are under the singular protection of God, that of the French has this advantage that Heaven favors it above all the others and from time to time even performs miracles for its preservation . . . [since the] honor of France was the Church and vice-versa.”[13] Such attitudes received support from one more pamphleteer who declared: “Those who have read the Book of Kings in the Bible must admit the frequent mention that is made there of the ‘Fleurs de Lys’ which great interpreters see as a symbol of the King of France.”[14] French writers based their status as a chosen people through interpreting specific signs. Perhaps the greatest was Louis IX, the thirteenth-century king of France who was canonized and honored as “the incomparable Saint Louis, the marvel of the Kings of the Earth.”[15] Joan of Arc, though not yet canonized, remained a powerful figure, having followed God’s command to support the claims of Charles VII and deliver the country from its English enemies. Her audacity and leadership were compared to Old Testament figures: while God sent Judith, Deborah, and Esther to aid the Jews, He sent la Pucelle d’Orléans to French aid.[16] Therefore, it was apparent to many of the seventeenth-century French that God protected France and cherished her king as the pillar of Faith.[17]

As a result of this “dedication” to Catholicism, some Frondeurs contended that God willingly supported French schemes, especially against the Spanish with whom France was still warring during the Fronde. The Treaties of Münster and Osnabrück did not terminate the hostilities between these two Catholic kingdoms, but only brought peace to the Holy Roman Empire.[18] One outraged pamphleteer cloaked his hatred of the Spanish in religious terms by denouncing the excessive ambitions of the Spanish kings who “many times abused public faith and unjustly opposed the Kings of France in the exercise of their very legitimate rights on the crowns of Naples, Sicily, Milan, Flanders, Rousillon, and Navarre. . . .”[19] Since France was protected by God and her special patroness, the Virgin Mary (as proclaimed by Louis XIII a few years earlier), a 1649 writer maintained that Spanish cannons and muskets were fired only in vain against the invincible French.[20] Another writer ignored the belligerent confrontations with Spain and in 1651 praised France as the most glorious nation in Christendom that brought peace to Europe through the treaties of Westphalia.[21]

To some Frondeurs, God not only protected France from foreign adversity but also from internal difficulties. Here, however, the writers became polemicists and defended their particular party against the “foreigner,” Cardinal Mazarin. To them, God looked favorably on the kingdom of France and would not permit her to suffer any more from the impious acts of the hated Cardinal who was adjudged the “scourge of God,” or, to use a classical allusion another Aelius Sejanus.[22] On account of Mazarin, France was experiencing all sorts of problems, but God would extend His mercy to His chosen people.[23] Perhaps to some, his fate would be the same as his fellow Italian Concini some three decades during Louis XIII’s youthful introduction to Realpolitik.

A compromise was finally reached between parliament and the royal family in March of 1649 / Creative Commons

These years of agony saw the formation, modification, and destruction of many parties: jurists, mazarinists, and supporters of various factions dominated usually by assorted noblemen like the Prince de Condé, the Duke d’Orléans, and the Duke de Beaufort. Each group at appropriate times claimed the approval of the Almighty in order to rationalize its political stance. For example, during the first year of the Fronde, the Parlement of Paris, which organized the initial opposition to the designs of the regency, attempted to justify its claims for increased power. One 1649 writer declared that heaven supported the great courage and generous work of the members of this body.[24] Other pamphlets supported such sweeping generalizations as if an oracle had been consulted.[25]

To the bulk of the pamphleteers, God could not have supported the chief minister who did not behave as a true Christian tempering politics with religion. Rather, he followed the ideas of Machiavelli and his “damnable art of ruling.”[26] As a result of these ideas, he violated the principles of religion and suppressed laws according to his whims.[27] Perhaps another reason why contemporaries described the Cardinal as a Machiavellian was his association with Gabriel Naudé who was employed as the librarian of his extensive book collection which later became the base of the Bibliothèque nationale. Less than a decade before the Fronde, Naudé published Les Considérations politiques sur les coups d’état which expounded the views of a Machiavellian. Although he condemned the Florentine’s works and proposed that they be banned in all countries,[28] he simultaneously supported political practices which exuded the spirit of Machiavelli. For example, he emphasized the practical aspect of Henry IV’s final conversion to Catholicism—that he could not have become the de facto ruler of France without abjuring Huguenot beliefs.[29] He defended the Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day as the most daring “coup d’estat” that was ever made. He also condemned it, but only because it did not rid France of all heretics, leaving behind enough Huguenots who could protest and militarily oppose the political agenda of Catherine de’ Medici.[30] Naudé supported Mazarin well after the Fronde began by publishing in the late summer of 1649 his Mascurat[31] in which he defended his patron against the onslaught of his libelous detractors. He either mentioned or analyzed the bulk of the numerous pamphlets which appeared during the first four months of 1649. It was an erudite attempt to prove that the majority of these publications was pure slander dictated by hatred not truth.[32]

To Naudé, the ideas of Machiavelli could be properly applied to politics as long as the practitioner was careful in his applications. To many pamphleteers, Mazarin utilized “irreligious” techniques.[33] They implied that the principles of Christianity could be applied to all aspects government. A few writers, usually priests, were more explicit. Claude Joly, a canon and confirmed anti-mazarinist, declared that the laws of the state must be compatible with the precepts of the Gospels and those who did not apply them were ruling tyrannically.[34] Another cleric, R.P. dom Pierre de St. Joseph repeated similar ideas by saying that divine and human laws should be complementary. For him, denying the precepts of Christianity simultaneously denied the use of common sense.[35]

If God were to be a pillar of government, then French officials would be required to seek His guidance. As a result the Frondeurs proposed two theories: divine right which they discussed often and sometimes in some depth, and the very voice of God mediated through the French people. A small number of pamphleteers dared to suggest that the will of the majority could be interpreted as the decision of the Deity. They apparently agreed that Christianity preached the equality of all believers because each had to work individually for his own salvation and each ultimately faced death. Those who mentioned this theory were careful to delineate when this might be possible. A 1651 author pointed out that the voice of the people was “that of God when it is universal and uniform and not produced by hatred and passion.”[36] A pamphleteer in 1649 felt that this statement was too general and that it had to be defined. He was unable to acknowledge that the “populace” could make decisions affecting the common welfare, “but if by the people you include the sanest part, who are the men of wealth, knowledge and experience, no one can deny that their voice is the voice of God. . . .” It was especially true of the meeting of the Estates-General, which was the “solemn voice of God when it declares and ordains.”[37] Nonetheless, at least one pamphleteer disagreed by using what he considered biblical sources and concluded that the voice of the people was not the voice of God. Other pamphleteers addressed this topic,[38] but as with the other exponents of this theory they appear to have selected aspects of arguments used in the Vindiciae contra Tyrranos and François Hotman’s Franco-Gallia in defense of Huguenot actions during the Wars of Religion.[39]

Vindiciae contra tyrannos(Titelseite der Ausgabe von 1579, angeblich in Edinburgh erschienen) / Wikimedia Commons

In the mid-seventeenth century, however, the theory of divine-right absolutism was more or less accepted by most pamphleteers. The works of Cardin Le Bret in the 1630s along with others[40] prepared the groundwork, but during the Fronde few developed the concept into a sophisticated political theory. Most writers discussed only the elements of divine-right absolutism that applied to specific situations: polemics were the necessity of the moment since prominent leaders realized the importance of propaganda and secured the services of writers who defended their causes.[41] The pamphleteers described the kings of France in various ways with little difference of interpretation among the variety of political groups: special children of God and spouses of the Church,[42] the lieutenants of God,[43] the images of God on earth,[44] and many others. The use of such terms implies the very special condition of the king of France, half God and half man. One writer in 1649 referred to the king as a beautiful body who was the most admirable of all of God’s creatures: “God had chosen him in order to place his tabernacle here in France and in order to make us see . . . a brilliant ray of his Divinity.”[45] Three years later, another pamphleteer maintained that no one could deny that “the Kings are the same as God on earth.”[46] The human and physical destruction of the Fronde coupled with its psychological turmoil was giving hope that a salvation of peace and prosperity would take place under the direction of the young Louis XIV.

Royal semi-divinity inspired other writers to compare kings with God. La Doctrine chrestienne des bons François pointed out that the power of God was infinite while that of the king was finite, but his power “spreads over the whole Kingdom, which is as the universe of the visible God,” that is the king.[47] Since he was the image of God, he must govern in a manner befitting that special position—to render justice and to govern according to law and reason.[48] However, in attributing a “divine” role to the king of France, some writers confused the relationship of Church and State. One “poet” writing in the popular burlesque form of the day declared that everyone must honor the king: “It’s the same as our faith which preached about it and ordered it.”[49] Even to speak against the king was tantamount to blasphemy.[50] Similarly, it was sinful to harbor bad thoughts about the king.[51] The kings were the highest of men, just one step below God.[52] A sacral kingship became evident.[53]

Although one pamphleteer indicated that absolute power was not compatible with French mores and that the Parlement of Paris should be abolished as well as the anointing of the kings, most writers supported the monarchical form of government. Some writers discussed the formation of monarchies according to their knowledge of Scriptures, especially the Book of Kings, where the kings of the Hebrews were chosen at the request of the Jews. “The creatures requested a king: God gave into them with displeasure.”[54] One 1649 writer assumed that subjects contributed absolutely nothing to the election of kings,[55] but another equivocated by relating that rulers came to power by election, hereditary succession, or force. These means were decided on by God, who conferred his gifts on whomever he wished.[56] These writers were the exception since most preferred hereditary monarchy. For example, one Frondeur affirmed that God had established the royal form of government at the beginning of time, because it was the most reasonable.[57] To another, royal government was the most perfect since it was modeled after the divine and was apparently conforming to the laws of the Universe. Whenever government strayed from this natural form, it set itself against God and nature.[58] Royal government remained until 1789: Frondeurs, for the most part, were not prepared to accept any other form of government. They criticized only its alleged aberrations.[59]

Portrait of Louis XIV by Hyacinthe Rigaud, 1701 / Louvre Museum, Wikimedia Commons

By September 1651, all rebellion against Louis XIV became questionable, because by tradition the king reached his majority at age thirteen. In a pamphlet published in January 1652, the author, most probably an ecclesiastic, felt that obedience was to be given blindly to the king since his power was from God. He based his ideas on the decisions of the Sixth Council of Paris: that if any cleric resisted the legitimate power of the king, he must be deprived of his dignities. He anathematized all who fomented discord in the kingdom.[60]Such a feeling is comprehensible after four years of domestic strife and collateral damages and numerous human casualties coupled with international war. However, another writer eight months later saw one loophole justifying rebellion: when the king or a minister ordered something which was against the laws of God. Obedience would be a moral crime and therefore rebellion was laudatory.[61]Nonetheless, still in the back of the minds of many Frondeurs was the memory of events across the Channel. Renaudot’s Gazette de France commented at least monthly during the Fronde about that erstwhile kingdom and once declared: “God is the avenger of kings and . . . he will punish sooner or later such a barbarous action.”[62] Similar horror can be found with ease in the pamphlets themselves.[63]

In conclusion, writers of the famed mazarinades, even during the strife of the Fronde, considered their France special in the eyes of the Almighty. They, no matter their political party, considered themselves His chosen people of the New Testament and their ruler was his semi-divine representative on earth. The range of his powers was at first open to dispute during the Fronde but not his awe-inspiring position which seemed to develop more luster and power as the insurrection continued on their destructive paths.[64] He was the descendant of St. Louis and his crown was ensured by Joan of Arc. Regicide, although justified by some during the Wars of Religion, did not gain a following during the Fronde. Horror at the regicidal actions of the English Puritans resonated strongly in the mazarinades. Despite the chaos, pamphleteers seemed to agree that France was suffering through difficult times but God would ensure its survival and prosperity as long as its people continued to remain faithful to Him and His precepts. In that sense, the voice of God would be the voice of the people whose mouthpiece would truly be the King of France.


  1. The classic work to examine is Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, Politique tirée des propres paroles de l’Écriture sainte (Geneva: Librairie Droz, 1967). This reprint uses primarily the 1709 edition of the book, but the basic arguments can be examined in earlier works dating back to 1679. See the Introduction of this reprint by Jacques LeBrun.
  2. Claude de Seyssel, La Grant [sic] monarchie de France (Paris: Galiot, 1541).
  3. A. Chéruel, Histoire de France pendant la minorité de Louis XIV, 4 vols. (Paris: Hachette et Cie., 1879-1880); Orest Ranum, Paris in the Age of Absolutism: An Essay (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1968); Hubert Carrier, La Presse de la Fronde (1648-1653): Les Mazarinades, la conquête de l’opinion (Geneva: Librairie Droz, 1989). This is only a sample of the significant works.
  4. For some examples, consult the following works: A. Lloyd Moote, The Revolt of the Judges: The Parlement of Paris and the Fronde, 1643-1652 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971); Ernst H. Kossmann, La Fronde (Leiden: Universitaire per Leiden, 1954); Madeleine Laurain-Portemer, Le Statut de Mazarin dans l’Eglise (Paris: Bibliothèque de l’École des Chartes, 1970); Boris Porchnev, Les Soulèvement populaires en France de 1623 à 1648, trans. École pratique des Hautes études (Paris: S.E.V.P.E.N., 1963); Nannerl O. Keohane, Philosophy and the State in France: The Renaissance to the Enlightenment (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980); and Mazarinades: A Checklist of Copies in Major Collections in the United States by Robert O. Lindsay and John Ney, eds., (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1972).
  5. [Paul Scarron], La Mazarinade, [Paris], 1651; [M2346]. The “M” catalogue number refers to reference numbers given by Célestin Moreau in his monumental examination of these pamphlets in the mid-nineteenth century. His organizational pattern will be used throughout this paper. See footnote 6.
  6. The primary cataloguer of the mazarinades was C[élestin] Moreau in his Bibliographie des mazarinades, 3 vols. (Paris: Renouard et Cie., 1850-51). On the discovery of other pamphlets, Moreau issued a Supplément in 1869, Émile Socard in 1876, Ernest Labadie in 1903, and Thomas C. Sosnowski in his 1975 dissertation at Kent State University.
  7. For a taste of this literary production, please consult Célestin Moreau, Choix des mazarinades, 2 vols. (Paris: Jules Renouard et Cie., 1853); also as a reprint: Johnson Reprint Corp., 1965.
  8. Carrier, Presse de la Fronde, 1-54.
  9. Moreau, Bibliographie, I: ii-iii.
  10. Christian Jouhaud, Mazarinades: La Fronde des mots (Paris: Aubier, 1985), 16-17.
  11. See Walter Ullman, The Carolingian Renaissance and the Idea of Kingship, Birbeck Lectures, 1966-1969 (London: Methuen & Co., 1969), 23.
  12. Le Triomphe de la Paix, ou victoire de la France remportée sur ses ennemis, par monsieur Mercier (Paris, 1649); [M3877], 3.
  13. L’Ange tutélaire de la France aux François amis de la paix (Paris, 1649), 4-5; [M86].
  14. Trente-cinq anagrammes sur l’auguste nom de Sa Majesté très-chrétienne, Louis quatorzième du nom, roi . . ., Paris, 1649); [M3804], 6. Also see Guyenne aux pieds du roi, que se plaint de ses enfants et qui demande à Sa Majesté la continuation de la paix . . . (Paris, 1649); [M1536], 7.
  15. Harangue faite au roi, après sa majorité, par le recteur de l’Université de Paris, accompagné de tous les corps de l’Université, le dimanche . . .(Paris, 1651); [M1582], 4.
  16. Le Triomphe de la paix, ou Victoire de la France remportée sur ses ennemis, par Monsieur Mercier (Paris, 1649); [M3877], 4. Joan of Arc was canonized only in 1920.
  17. La Mort et les funérailles de la guerre, en vers burlesques (Paris, 1649); [M2496], p. 7. Also see Grandeur de l’Astrée parisienne sur Minerve et Bellone, en vers burlesques (Paris, 1649); [M1517], 4. Also Prédiction de l’enlèvement du roi et sur le débordement de la rivière (Paris, 1649); [M2841], passim.
  18. Paul Sonnino, Mazarin’s Quest: The Congress of Westphalia and the Coming of the Fronde (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008).
  19. Discours d’État ou Véritable déclaration des motifs qui obligèrent Louis le Juste, roi de France et de Navarre à romper la paix qui fut faite, en 1596 . . . (Paris, 1649); [M1108], 3-4.
  20. Apologie de monsieur le Prince pour servir de réponse aux calomnies de deux libelles diffamatoires, c’est-à-dire du “Discours libre et véritable sur la conduite de monsieur de Prince” et . . . (n.p., n.d.); [M109], 5; also see Le Pater des jésuites (n.p., 1649); [M2736]; 4.
  21. Le Mausolée de la politique et de la justice dressé à la mémoire des deux frères illustres, M. le comte d’Avraux et M. le président de Mesmes . . .(Paris, 1651); [M2421], 17.
  22. Le Remerciment solomnel [sic] de tous les peoples de France à Dieu et à tous les chefs de la Fronde . . . (Paris, 1651); [M3285], 3. Also see La Puce à l’oreille, ou la Cabale mazarine détruit par l’arrivée de l’archiduc Léopold (Paris, 1652); [M2926] 3; and Le Fils de l’impudique et le perfide voluptueux (Paris, 1649); [M1394], 8.
  23. Sentiments des princes répondants à la Voix des peuples . . . (Paris, 1652); [M3654], 3.
  24. Ode à nosseigneurs de la cour de Parlement de Paris sur l’arrest d’union donné . . . 1648, et quelques autres pièces ensuites (Paris, 1649), 4.
  25. Requête des provinces et des villes de France à nos seigneurs du Parlement de Paris (n.p., 1649); [M3492], p. 4. Also see L’Oignon ou l’union qui fait mal à Mazarin, avec quelques autres du temps contre lui (Paris, 1649); [M2638], 6.
  26. Agréable récit de ce qui s’est passé aux dernières barricades de Paris, décrites en vers burlesques (Paris, 1649); [M56]; also in Moreau, Choix des mazarinades I:6.
  27. Le Généreux François (n.p., 1649); [M1482], p. 4; Les Sentiments d’Aristide sur les affaires publiques (Paris, 1649); [M3647], 5-7; Les Motifs de l’union des bourgeois de Paris avec le Parlement, représentés à la reine, servans [sic] de réponse aux libelles jettes dans Paris . . . (Paris, `1649); {M2500], 1; Discours politique sur le tort que le roi fait à son authorité, en ne faisant point exécuter les déclarations contre le cardinal Mazarin . . . (n.p., 1652); [M1136], 9.
  28. Gabriel Naudé, Considérations politiques sur les coups d’estats (Rome, 1639), 71.
  29. Ibid., 121.
  30. Ibid., 131-3.
  31. Gabriel Naudé, Jugement de tout ce que a été imprimé contre le cardinal Mazarin, depuis le sixième janvier jusqu’à la déclaration du premier avril mil six cent quarante neuf (Paris, 1649); [M1769]. This work was popularly called the Mascurat from the name of one of the two speakers in the book.
  32. For more information about Naudé, see James V. Rice, Gabriel Naudé (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1939).
  33. For examples, see Salomon instruisant le roi, by Madame de Scudéry (Paris, 1651); [M3574], passim; and Moreau, Choix I: 279; Catéchisme royal (Paris, 1650); [M653], 6; as well as L’Horoscope impérial de Louis XIV prédit par l’organisation François et Michel Nostradamus (Paris, 1652); [M1103], 5.
  34. Recueil de maximes véritables et importantes pour l’instruction du roi contre la fausse et pernicieuse . . . (Paris, 1652); [M3039], 63-66. It is interesting to note that Joly, the inveterate anti-mazarinist during the Fronde, assisted the Cardinal during the last months of his life while his health was failing in 1661: Paul Sonnino, “The Three Testaments of Cardinal Mazarin,” French Historical Studies 37, no. 3 (Summer 2014), 421-436.
  35. Moreau, Choix I: 287; it might be important to note that in 1643, he published his Defensio sancti Augustini, one of the first attack against Jansen’s Augustinus. See Louis Cognet, Le Jansénisme, “Que sais-je?” (Paris: Presses univérsitaires de France, 1961), 41; Véritables sentiments d’État pour la paix et sur le sacre du roi Louis XIV, avec les marques de sa conduite pour le repos . . . (Paris, 1652); [M3979], 24; and Aux François fratricides, par un écclésiastique: Videte ne ab invicem consumamini (Paris, 1652); [M436], 11.
  36. La Généologie du premier président (Paris, 1652); [M1476], 6. This pamphlet was a republication of the Lettre envoyée au roi par un docteur en théologie (n.p., 1651); [M2232], with only a change in the title. These are traditionally referred to as contrefaçons—many were published during the Fronde.
  37. Remède aux malheurs de l’État de France au sujet de la question: Que la voix du peuple est la voix de Dieu (Paris, 1649); [M3270], 4, 11.
  38. Que la voix du peuple est la voix de Dieu, contre le sentiment de celui qui vous a propose une question toute contraire (Paris, 1649); [M2943], 6-7. Also see Question: Si la voix du people est la voix de Dieu (n.p., 1649); [M2951], passim; and Conférence du roi, de la reine et du cardinal Mazarin sur toutes les affaires présentes, et la demande . . . (Paris, 1652); [M744], 9. For another, see Harangue en proverbs, faites à la reine par un notable bourgeois de la ville de Pontoise . . . (Paris, 1652); [M1652], 7.
  39. See Salmon, French Religious Wars, 7-14 and chapters 1 & 2 passim.
  40. [Pierre] Cardin LeBret, Les Oeuvres de Messire C. Bret, conseiller ordinaire du Roy en ses conseils d’Estat et privé (Paris: Toussainct du Bray, 1635), especially volume III; Jérôme Bignon, De l’excellence des roys, et du royaume de France, traitant de la préséance, premier rang, et prérogatives des roys de France . . . (Paris: Hierosme Drouart, 1610). For a strong Gallican Church perspective, consult Pierre Pithou, Les Libertez de l’Église Gallicane (Paris: Mamert Patisson, 1594). Another view of divine right absolutism can be seen in Antoyne de Montchrétien Traicté de l’Oeconomie politique dédié en 1615 au roy . . . , ed. Th. Funck-Bretano (Paris: Librairie Plot, 1889); and Jean Savaron, Traicté de la Souveraineté du Roy et de son royaume. À Messieurs les Députés de la noblesse (Paris: Pierre Chevalier, 1615).
  41. Arlette Jouanna, Le Prince absolu: Apogée et déclin de l’imaginaire monarchique (Paris: Gallimard, 2014), especially 176-181.
  42. La Majorité du roy, ou le Royal miroir présenté à Sa Majesté (n.p., 1651); [M2342], 5.
  43. Thèses d’État tirées de la politique chrétienne, présentées à Monseigneur le prince de Conty (Paris, 1649), 9.
  44. Les Vérités de l’Hermite de l’île d’Oleron, présentées au roi à Poitiers (Paris, 1652); [M4008], 4.
  45. Actions de grâces des pauvres paysans de l’élection de Paris pour le soulagement des tailles que la reine leur a promis par la déclaration de la paix (Paris, 1649); [M30], 5.
  46. Réponse du roy faite aux remontrances de messieurs du Parlement et de la ville de Paris, avec l’offre, faite à son Altesse Royale par les bourgeois . . . (Paris, 1652); [M3439], 4.
  47. La Doctrine chrétienne des bons François (Paris, 1652); [M1167], 4; also see À la reine, par un écclésiastique (Paris, 1652); [M1], 7.
  48. Réponse chrétienne et politique aux opinions erronées du temps (n.p., 1652); [M3389], 5.
  49. Fidèle traduction du sermon de Pâques fleuries, fait en presence du roi et de sa cour, par un père théatin . . . (Paris, 1649); [M1391], 5. For an introduction to the burlesque form which was popularized by Paul Scarron, first husband of Mme. de Maintenon, in the mid-seventeenth century, examine Francis Bar, Le Genre burlesque en France au XVIIe siècle: Étude de style (Paris: Éditions d’Artrey, 1960). It is useful to note that perhaps one thousand pamphlets were written (or tried to be written) in this literary form.
  50. Moreau, Choix, I: 229.
  51. Très-humble remontrance faite à monsieur le prince de Condé, sur les affaires présentes (n.p., 1652); [M3817], 5.
  52. L’Image du souverain, ou l’Illustre portrait des divinités mortelles, où il est traité de la dignité royale, de l’ancienne institution des rois . . .(Paris, 1649); [M1684], 6. 
  53. Ronald G. Asch, Sacral Kingship Between Disenchantment and Re-Enchantment: The French and English Monarchies, 1587-1688 (Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books, 2014), 102ff.
  54. De la puissance qu’ont les rois sur les peuples du pouvoir des peuples sur les rois (n.p., 1650); [M858], 3-15.
  55. Image du souverain, 8.
  56. Véritable conduit du courtesan généreux (Paris, 1649); [M3925], 22.
  57. Image du souverain, p. 14; Très-humble remontrance faite à monsieur le prince de Condé sur les affaires présentes (n.p., 1652); [M3817], 3.
  58. Accouchée espagnole, avec le caquet des politiques, ou le frère et la suite du politique lutin sur les maladies de l’État, par le sieur de Sandricourt(Paris, 1652); [M19], 9; and Réponse et refutation du discours intitulé: Lettre d’avis à messieurs du Parlement de Paris par un provincial(Paris, 1649); [M3443], 5-7.
  59. Most important would be an examination of Jouanna, Pouvoir absolu, especially “Troisième partie, Dissonance.”
  60. Question canonique: Si monsieur le Prince a pu prendre les armes en conscience, et si ceux qui prennent son parti, offensent Dieu; contre les théologiens courtisans (Bordeaux, 1651); [M2947], 5. But especially see Moreau, Choix 2: 336 and that Moreau attributes this pamphlet to Bishop Cohon of Dol or his colleague, Bishop Martineau of Bazas on p. 314.
  61. Moreau, Choix 2: 455.
  62. Le Politique universel, ou Birève et absolue décision de toutes les questions d’État les plus importantes . . . (n.p., n.d.); [M2818]l, 5.
  63. Apologie des Écossois, et les véritables raisons pour lesquelles ils ont élu Charles sécond contre l’injuste précédé des Anglais (Paris, 1649); [M111], 5; also see Relation véritable de la mort barbare et cruelle du roi d’Angleterre, arrivée à Londres le 8 février 1649 (Paris, 1649); [M3241], 6-8. In addition it important to examine is Philip Knachel, England and the Fronde: The Impact of the English Civil War and Revolution on France (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1967). 
  64. One must keep in mind various interpretations of the immediate post-Fronde reign of Louis XIV. Keohane emphasizes the almost instant growth of absolute power. In one case she uses the libertin Sorbière who submitted to this form of monarchy in a sort of Hobbesian manner. Jouanna asserts that no one after the Peace of the Pyrenées in 1659 with Spain that Louis XIV would have “une domination incontestée dans le royaume.” (189) And Richard M. Golden also agreed in his Godly Rebellion: Parisian Curés and the Religious Fronde, 1652-1662 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1981) especially with the critical role of the Cardinal de Retz. J. Russell Major in his From Renaissance Monarchy to Absolute Monarchy: French Kings, Nobles & Estates (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994) tends to agree that the transformation to absolutism was not immediate, but for a variety of other reasons.

Originally published by the Journal of the Western Society for French History 42 (2014) under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported license.