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Title: Beyond the Sun King's bedside : Antoine Vallot and the broader identity of the premier médecin du roi in Louis XIV's reign
Author: Hawkes, Natalie
ISNI:       0000 0004 5367 1174
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2014
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Antoine Vallot worked as premier médecin du roi (Chief Physician to the King) to Louis XIV of France from 1652 to 1671. In this position, he participated in some of the most important political and medical developments in early modern France. Yet without a single substantial biography to his name, he remains the least studied of the three successive premiers médecins who cared for Louis XIV during his personal reign. This thesis attempts to rectify this disparity, but not through the means of a traditional biography. Instead, it aims to shed greater light upon Vallot’s career as premier médecin, and his place in the world around him in this role, through an exploration of his interactions with contemporaries. The royal court of France, and the kingdom’s wider medical profession, provide the two main backdrops for this investigation. The relationships which Vallot sustained within these two environments are explored with the help of a broad range of source material, including personal correspondence, archival records from the king’s household and Vallot’s medical record for Louis XIV. Within the source material relating to the royal court, a picture emerges of an extremely prolific physician whose professional popularity contrasted with a distinct lack of social significance. Although this social shortcoming was exacerbated by a tumultuous relationship with the royal medical team, Vallot’s exchanges with some of the court’s most important ministers reveal the achievements he accomplished within another dynamic sphere of court life: patronage. In the kingdom’s medical profession, Vallot kept a measured distance from the heated discussions of his medical contemporaries working beyond the court. Behind this distance, however, lay ambitious plans to secure a uniquely authoritative voice within the medical world as premier médecin. Throughout this investigation attention is drawn to the emerging continuities that can be traced between Vallot’s experiences in the role of premier médecin, and those of his better-known professional successors.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: History of Medicine Department, Newcastle University
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available