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The Crisis of the Absolute MonarchyFrance from Old Regime to Revolution$
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Julian Swann and Joël Félix

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265383

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265383.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 14 October 2019

William ‘Bill’ Doyle and the Origins of the French Revolution

William ‘Bill’ Doyle and the Origins of the French Revolution

Chapter:
(p.311) 16 William ‘Bill’ Doyle and the Origins of the French Revolution
Source:
The Crisis of the Absolute Monarchy
Author(s):

Tim Blanning

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265383.003.0016

This chapter discusses Bill Doyle's contribution to the study of the origins of the French Revolution. It shows how his early work delivered a powerful critique of the dominant Marxist interpretation, already under attack from revisionists led by Alfred Cobban. It examines the three editions of his book Origins of the French Revolution, with both continuities and changes identified. Particular importance is assigned to Doyle's ground-breaking work on the part played by venality in eroding the old regime monarchy. A second topic of major importance to which Doyle's researches have contributed a great deal is the role of the Parlements. This is placed in the context of Doyle's critique of the notion of an ‘aristocratic reaction’ in late-eighteenth century France. The chapter concludes with a discussion of his most recent work on aristocracy.

Keywords:   Marxism, revisionism, venality, parlements, aristocracy

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