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Title: The chronicle and career of George Chastelain (c.1415-1475) : a study in the political and historical culture of the Court of Burgundy
Author: Small, Graeme
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1994
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George Chastelain (c.1415-1475) was the official historian of the last two Valois dukes of Burgundy, Philip the Good († 1467) and Charles the Bold († 1477). This study of his Chronicle and career seeks to contextualise - and thereby understand - his work by examining it in relation to the political and historical culture of the Burgundian court. The first chapter reconstructs Chastelain's family background and early career, and notes the differences between the chronicler's account of this period and new record evidence relating to it. The years he was thought to have spent in France were not the formative personal experience they have been taken for in the past. In chapter two, an examination of Chastelain's career at the ducal court after 1446, it is argued that his diplomatic duties, personal contacts and privileged position at the heart of the Burgundian elite were of a nature to profoundly influence his representation of its history. Having examined the political culture from which the Chronicle sprang, chapter three situates the work in the context of the historical culture of the court. By considering the reasons for Chastelain's appointment, the nature of the patronage nexus and the perceived audience which, because of the contemporary success of his opuscula, he thought himself to be addressing, it will be seen that Chastelain's apparently Francocentric outlook was moulded less by his experience in the kingdom than by the milieu in which he moved in the second half of his life. It should be possible at this stage to attempt a reading of the Chronicle based upon the contextual circumstances described in the first three chapters. Before doing so, however, a major impediment to our understanding of the work must be addressed - the text's fragmentary survival.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available