Sunday, August 30, 2009

Louis XI

This day (August 30) in 1483 saw the death of France's Louis XI. According to Wikipedia, Louis was largely responsible for undermining the fuedal system. The changing structure of political life was a focus of Scott's Quentin Durward. From that novel:

"...Among those who were the first to ridicule and abandon the self-denying principals in which the young knight was instructed, and to which he was so carefully trained up, Louis XI was the chief. The sovereign was of a character so purely selfish - so guiltless of entertaining any purpose unconnected with his ambition, covetousness and desire of selfish enjoyment - that he seems almost an incarnation of the devil himself, permitted to do his utmost ot corrupt our ideas of honour at the very source."

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