Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Pious sociability and the spiritual elite in seventeenth-century France c.1650-1680
Author: Hillman, Jennifer
ISNI:       0000 0004 2718 9739
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2011
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Seventeenth-century female rigorists have received little archival study since the nineteenth century, when they were at once mythologized as beautiful luminaries or 'precieuses' who monopolized the salons, and reduced to the 'Belles Amies' of the Jansenist convent of Port-Royal. This study attempts to show that they have been misinterpreted. It shows that by neglecting the correspondence of these women, historians have missed some of the richest descriptions of how female piety evolved after the devot generation pioneered the Catholic Reformation in France. This thesis proposes that within the seventeenth-century Parisian rigorist movement there was an aristocratic friendship network comprised of women who socialized and worshipped together. It argues that within this group a socially and spiritually exclusive devotional culture developed, which it terms Pious Sociability. It seeks to show how Pious Sociability was characterized by intimate 'spiritual friendships', an aversion towards the licentious culture of an increasingly libertine royal court, and distinctive, anti-Baroque devotional practices. It suggests that the Pious Sociability of rigorist penitents may have informed, and been informed by, their perception of themselves as God's spiritual elite with an affinity with the early Christian community. Drawing upon manuscript and printed sources, this study demonstrates the significance of female pious networks to the history of the Catholic Reformation in France. It aims to offer an organic approach to the study of elite female culture, nuancing existing histories of post-Tridentine devotion and plotting the unfolding of feminine sociability beyond the salon.
Supervisor: Carroll, Stuart ; Ditchfield, Simon ; Sheils, Bill Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available