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 by way of that of a straitlaced monarch devoted to locking up blasphemers, borrowers, gamblers, and prostitutes in wretched, foul-smelling prisons that disbursed plentiful 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 awareness to advantage or to sin and, regardless of his loved identify of God's so much Christian King, violations of God's 6th and 9th Commandments by no means bothered him. certainly, for the 1st twenty years of his reign, he paraded a circulation of royal mistresses prior to all of Europe and fathered 16 illegitimate young children. but, halfway via his reign, within the severe decade of the 1680s, the lusty snapshot of Louis XIV paled and used to be changed by way of that of a straitlaced monarch devoted to locking up blasphemers, borrowers, gamblers, and prostitutes in wretched, foul-smelling prisons that disbursed plentiful doses of Catholic-Reformation virtue.
Using police and felony records, administrative correspondence, memoirs, and letters, Riley describes the formation of Louis's slender sense of right and wrong and his efforts to defend his topics' souls by way of attacking sin and infusing his country with advantage, in particular in Paris and at Versailles. all through his assault on sin, women--so-called squaddies of Satan--were the certain ambitions of the police. by means of the 17th century, fornication and adultery had develop into solely girl crimes; males to blame of those sins have been infrequently punished as significantly. even supposing unsuccessful, Louis's assault on sin clarified the felony 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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Additional resources for A Lust for Virtue: Louis XIV’s Attack on Sin in Seventeenth-Century France
Conditions, particularly the sanitary conditions, were even worse in these cells than in the regular cells. ”58 Despite these wretched conditions and because of the influence of Saint Vincent de Paul and his commitment to purge sin through solitude, prayer, and self-denial, Saint-Lazare was the single most inspirational asylum in Paris. Deep into the eighteenth century, it remained the penal asylum of choice for sinful clerics or unruly sons of wealthy families who could not be sent to the Bastille.
D’Argenson made an example of her by locking her in the Châtelet prison for two months. In 1711 another group of innkeepers rallied in support of a café owner named Boucher, who had defied the inspectors. Boucher’s brazen example troubled d’Argenson, who knew that if Boucher resisted long enough, other owners would follow him. 30 OCCASIONS OF SIN Louis XIV was not unmindful of the difficulties his Paris police faced. Beginning in 1683 he assisted them by striking out at social conventions contributing to sin.
The first is an economic one—the government’s reaction to the “general crisis of the seventeenth-century,” aimed expressly at locking up the footloose “sturdy beggars” who had inundated Paris in the 1640s and 1650s. The second is political—confinement was a prophylactic measure intended to cleanse Paris of criminals and deviants who had boldly challenged the power of Louis XIV’s political elites. Third, Foucault allows for a religious motive for confinement, inspired by what he labels the deadly sin of the seventeenth century, sloth.
A Lust for Virtue: Louis XIV’s Attack on Sin in Seventeenth-Century France by Philip F. Riley