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Title: Political communication and public opinion in the 'Journal d'un bourgeois de Paris', 1405-1449
Author: Giraudet, Luke
ISNI:       0000 0004 8510 8079
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2019
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The Journal d’un bourgeois de Paris is an anonymous Middle French historical narrative relating events in and around Paris from 1405 to 1449. The Journal offers important insights into one of the most turbulent periods of Paris’ history, encapsulating the Armagnac-Burgundian civil conflict (1407-1435), the Lancastrian occupation of the capital (1420-1436) and the reassertion of Valois authority culminating in the expulsion of the English from Normandy in 1450. Through a concentrated analysis of the Journal supported by a new edition of the surviving manuscripts, this thesis examines how Parisians discussed these events, employing theoretical approaches to the public sphere, political communication and public opinion. While these ideas are typically reserved for early modern phenomena, this thesis contends that the Journal demonstrates the operation of medieval public spheres, framing widespread commentary upon political issues beyond the upper echelons of society that reinforced a nascent collective Parisian identity. The first part of the thesis situates the Journal and its author in their social, political and professional contexts, drawing upon codicological information and internal evidence. Rather than being an isolated reflection of Parisian conversation, the Journal captures an interrelation between the perspectives of the so-called ‘Bourgeois’ and his audience. This is demonstrated in the thesis’ second part, that examines the Journal’s descriptions of three key aspects of political communication in late medieval Paris, namely the official media employed by civic and royal institutions, civic ceremonies, and rumours circulating in the city. Each indicates the ways in which Parisians appropriated, contested or rejected political messages, but also how the Bourgeois himself arrogated authority by selectively reproducing instances of opinion that privileged Parisian perspectives. Finally, this thesis assesses the content of these discussions, analysing the Bourgeois’ reactions to warfare, taxation and government, determining how theoretical considerations of these issues influenced urban political discourse.
Supervisor: Taylor, Craig Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available