Noble Strategies in an Early Modern Small State

November 2011
6 black and white, 26 line illustrations
262 pages
9x6 in
Changing Perspectives on Early Modern Europe
ISBN: 9781580463966
Format: Hardback
University of Rochester Press
BISAC HIS013000, HIS014000, HIS037090

Noble Strategies in an Early Modern Small State

The Mahuet of Lorraine

Charles T. Lipp

Noble Strategies in an Early Modern Small State addresses a subject few other scholars of early modern Europe attempt: the hundreds of small states that made up the overwhelming majority of Europe's political entities before the nineteenth century. Author Charles Lipp studies the elite of the duchy of Lorraine, a territory strategically placed geographically and culturally along the frontiers dividing France and Germany, and a region contested for centuries by the Habsburgs of the Holy Roman Empire and the Valois and Bourbons of the kingdom of France. Rather than focus on either the dukes of Lorraine or the dynasties like the Guise or the Bassompierre, as other studies have done, this volume analyzes a family belonging to the lower nobility, the Mahuet, over several generations from the late-sixteenth through the early-eighteenth centuries. The book explores how this family rose to social prominence during a chaotic period in their homeland's history, a time marked by foreign invasion, military occupation, and an outbreak of the plague, among other trials.

Charles Lipp is Assistant Professor of History, University of West Georgia.

Table of Contents

Introduction: A More Typical Portrait
Becoming Noble in a Small State
An Uncertain Exile: Marc-Antoine de Mahuet in the Court of Charles of Lorraine
Surviving the Sun King: The Mahuet in French-Occupied Lorraine
The Limits to Success: Jean-François de Mahuet and the Grand Prévôté de Saint-Dié
Conclusion: Strategies of Status and Small-State Nobles
Appendix I: Genealogies of the Mahuet, Dattel, Richard, and d'Hoffelize Families
Appendix II: The Dukes of Lorraine, 1473-1737
Appendix III: A Statistical Survey of the Lorrain Anoblis


The central premise of this book is both innovative and important. The definition of what was the "norm" in political culture in early modern Europe continues to shift towards the small, the overlooked, and the "failed" states that did not make it into the modern era. Using the duchy of Lorraine as his focus, Charles Lipp provides a compelling case study of a particular social group -- the annoblis -- as more "typical" of European nobility than the court nobilities that dominated the great powers of Britain, France or Spain. FRENCH HISTORY

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