This is a study of the daily life, concerns, and dynamics of aristocratic families in the France of the Third Republic. Elizabeth Macknight draws on a vast range of material from private archives to contest assumptions about the irrelevancy of the nobility under the republican regime. Within a challenging political and economic environment nobles were determined to protect their interests and conserve the integrity of the aristocratic way of life. The convictions that underpinned nobles' responses to government initiatives emerge from the sources with freshness and clarity. Macknight interweaves male and female perspectives to provide a very full account of familial activities and decision-making with attention to all stages of the human lifecycle. Nobles' experiences of parenting and grandparenting, sibling and cousin relations, marriage, property negotiations, and interaction with servants are brought to light in a vivid and engaging narrative.
Elizabeth C. MacKnight is Lecturer in European History at the University of Aberdeen.
Introduction 1. Genealogies 2. Marriage 3. Property and inheritance 4. Serving the household 5. Paternity and politics 6. Aristocratic motherhood 7. Children's worlds 8. Space and memory, loss and nostalgia Conclusion Bibliography Index
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