Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The Bourbon monarchy and the cult of Saint Louis, 1589-1792
Author: Heath, Sean
ISNI:       0000 0004 7234 4259
Awarding Body: University of St Andrews
Current Institution: University of St Andrews
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Thesis embargoed until 19 Sep 2024
Access from Institution:
This thesis examines the relationship between religion and politics in France by looking at the cult of Saint Louis under the bourbon kings of the ‘ancien regime', from the accession of Henri IV in 1589 to the abolition of the monarchy in 1792. As both a historical king whose reign was held to be the epitome of ideal Christian kingship and as a canonised saint of the church, Saint Louis was positioned at the very nexus of this relationship and his cult and memory had an important place in the political, religious and artistic culture of Bourbon France. Following a period of relative neglect since the Hundred Year's War, the cult was revived under Henri IV and Louis XIII as part of their ‘recatholicisation' of the French monarchy. Saint Louis began to emerge as a prominent theme in royal representation and as a symbol that could be used by flatterers throughout the bourbon period. Celebration of his feast was part of the texture of sacral monarchy that helped bind the monarchy to various elite groups - ecclesiastical, lay and military. His praise was generally harnessed to the glorification of his Bourbon descendants. However, there were limitations. His feast was never celebrated across the kingdom as comprehensively as the monarchy had hoped, and enough ambiguities remained in the relationship of sanctified ancestor to living descendant to allow opponents of the monarchy to use Saint Louis's idealised image to criticise the reigning king. Moreover, broader changes in culture and intellectual life rendered a cult that had been re-established in the era of Catholic reform increasingly out of tune with contemporary sensibilities by the middle of the eighteenth century. Ultimately, this study of the cult of Saint Louis is a contribution to debaters about the nature of royal sacralty and the extent of both ‘resacralisation' and ‘desacralisation' across the period. It shows the ambiguities and difficulties created for the French monarchy by the weight of its sacral identity.
Supervisor: Rowlands, Guy Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available