Noble Strategies in an Early Modern Small State

Charles T. Lipp

Noble Strategies in an Early Modern Small State


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First Published: 01 Nov 2011
13 Digit ISBN: 9781580463966
6 black and white, 26 line drawing illustrations
Pages: 262
Size: 9 x 6
Binding: Hardback
Imprint: University of Rochester Press

Details updated on 05 Oct 2015


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

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.


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