A Lust for Virtue: Louis XIV's Attack on Sin in by Philip F. Riley

By Philip F. Riley

Midway via his reign, within the serious decade of the 1680s, the lusty photo of Louis XIV paled and was once changed via that of a straitlaced monarch dedicated to locking up blasphemers, borrowers, gamblers, and prostitutes in wretched, foul-smelling prisons that disbursed considerable doses of Catholic-Reformation advantage. the writer demonstrates how this assault on sin expressed the punitive social coverage of the French Catholic Reformation and the way Louis's activities clarified the criminal and ethical differences among crime and sin.

As a hot-blooded younger prince, Louis XIV paid little recognition to advantage or to sin and, regardless of his adored name of God's such a lot Christian King, violations of God's 6th and 9th Commandments by no means afflicted him. certainly, for the 1st twenty years of his reign, he paraded a circulate of royal mistresses prior to all of Europe and fathered 16 illegitimate kids. but, halfway via his reign, within the severe decade of the 1680s, the lusty picture of Louis XIV paled and used to be changed by way of that of a straitlaced monarch dedicated to locking up blasphemers, borrowers, gamblers, and prostitutes in wretched, foul-smelling prisons that allotted considerable doses of Catholic-Reformation virtue.

Using police and criminal records, administrative correspondence, memoirs, and letters, Riley describes the formation of Louis's slim sense of right and wrong and his efforts to shield his matters' souls by way of attacking sin and infusing his country with advantage, particularly in Paris and at Versailles. all through his assault on sin, women--so-called squaddies of Satan--were the detailed objectives of the police. through the 17th century, fornication and adultery had develop into solely woman crimes; males to blame of those sins have been infrequently punished as seriously. even though unsuccessful, Louis's assault on sin clarified the criminal and ethical differences among crime and sin in addition to the futility of imposing a religiously encouraged social coverage on an irreverent, secular-minded France.

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