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Brotherly LoveFreemasonry and Male Friendship in Enlightenment France$
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Kenneth Loiselle

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452437

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452437.001.0001

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“New but True Friends”

“New but True Friends”

The Friendship Network of Philippe-Valentin Bertin du Rocheret

(p.110) Chapter 4 “New but True Friends”
Brotherly Love

Kenneth Loiselle

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines how male friendship was lived in daily life by focusing on the correspondence network of Philippe-Valentin Bertin du Rocheret, a wine merchant and civil servant based in Champagne. In the mid-1730s, police pressure closed down Rocheret's Bussi-Aumont lodge, but he and his masonic friends actively wrote and visited each other over the next two decades. Before analyzing the bond between Rocheret and his masonic friends, this chapter provides a brief biographical sketch of their network along with their frequency of letter writing and visits. It then considers the structural aspects of masonic sociability as well as the content and purpose of the masonic letters, with particular emphasis on the terminology and categories of thought used by Rocheret and his group when describing themselves as “friends.” It also discusses the ways that these men provided one another both emotional and practical support and describes their bond as “unritualized friendships.”

Keywords:   male friendship, correspondence, Philippe-Valentin Bertin du Rocheret, Bussi-Aumont lodge, letter writing, sociability, unritualized friendship

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