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Making Money in Sixteenth-Century FranceCurrency, Culture, and the State$
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Jotham Parsons

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451591

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451591.001.0001

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The Monetary Imaginary of Renaissance France

The Monetary Imaginary of Renaissance France

(p.237) Chapter 6 The Monetary Imaginary of Renaissance France
Making Money in Sixteenth-Century France

Jotham Parsons

Cornell University Press

This chapter argues that French literature down to the 1630s frequently thematized the social danger of money, particularly with regards to social mobility. Writers from the age of Henri II through the first years of the seventeenth century stressed the role of money and precious metals as both expressions and synecdoches of royal or even divine majesty. But in the half century that followed the death of Henri IV, monetary themes became the province of comic and libertine writers such as Pierre Corneille, Tristan l'Hermite, and Charles Sorel, who flourished in the reign of Louis XIII (1610–1643), and their successors, such as Molière and Antoine Furetière, under Louis XIV.

Keywords:   French literature, Henri II, synecdoches, Tristan l'Hermite, Charles Sorel, Pierre Corneille, money, precious metals

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