Louis XIV has always been a great figure of European history, and considerable scholarly attention has been devoted to his own policies, and his influence over his realm. There has also been some excellent work on his impact outside France. However, there has been no systematic attempt to examine reactions to the king across a range of countries, and so to gain a more holistic view of what Louis XIV meant outside his own immediate sphere. This conference will attempt to fill this gap. It will map the variety of ways reactions to Louis shaped discussion and action across Europe and the globe; and will provide a forum for stimulating comparative history.
Major themes of discussion are likely to include the perception of Louis as a threat to the balance of Europe as it played out different countries; the various ways in which France’s absolutist state was used elsewhere in debates about political, administrative, financial and military structures; perceptions of - and reactions to - Louis’ religious policies; imitations or rejections of French court culture; accommodations with France as a commercial rival; and varying constructions of Louis’ rhetorical or pictorial image in the non-French press. Proposals for twenty-minute panel papers are welcomed on any of these themes, or on any other aspect of foreign response to Louis. ‘Foreign’ may include territories such as Orange or Alsace incorporated into France during the reign. Reactions to the French monarch in north-west Europe (including Britain and Ireland), and in the Habsburg realms, are likely to be prominent in the conference, but the organisers would particularly welcome papers considering the rest of Europe, the colonial Americas, or the extra-European world.
The working language of the conference will be English. However, the organisers will attempt to make contributions in French comprehensible to the whole audience by asking for pre-delivery of papers in that language (so the text can be circulated, and an English abstract provided); and by attempting rapid translation of oral interventions at the event itself.
Interspersed with the panel sessions, there will be four plenary talks:
Professor Tim Harris (Brown, Providence RI, US), ‘Francophobia in late Stuart England’
Professor David Hayton (Queens, Belfast, UK), ‘Louis XIV, James II, and the conflict in Ireland’.
Professor Henk van Nierop (Amsterdam, NL), ‘Romeyn de Hooghe’s Louis XIV’
Professor Hendrik Ziegler (Hamburg, D), ‘Image battles under Louis XIV’
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