Jean Bodin was a figure of great importance in European intellectual history, known as a jurist, associate of kings and courtiers in sixteenth-century France, and author of influential works in the fields of constitutional and social thought, historical writing, witchcraft, and a great deal else besides. Best known for his contribution to formulating the modern doctrine of sovereignty, Bodin was a scholar of exceptional range, whose works provoked controversy in his
own time and have continued to do so down the centuries. Hugh Trevor-Roper described him as 'the Aristotle, the Montesquieu of the sixteenth century, the prophet of comparative history, of political theory, of the philosophy of law, of the quantitative theory of money, and of so much else'.
Much has been written on Bodin and his ideas, but in this new intellectual biography, Howell A. Lloyd presents the first rounded treatment of the thinker and his times, his writings (major and minor), and his ideas in their contemporary context, as well as in that of broader intellectual traditions.
Married with five children, Howell A. Lloyd is a graduate of the universities of Wales and Oxford. In the course of a career which culminated in ten years' service as pro-vice-chancellor and deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Hull, he has taught and researched an unusually wide variety of historical subjects. His publications - monographs, edited works, and numerous essays - deal with topics in late-medieval and early-modern British and European history that range from social and economic questions to military affairs, from constitutional and governmental structures to political ideas, from mathematics to historiography itself. He is therefore especially well-equipped for the study of the subject of the present book, the prolific and many-sided scholar, Jean Bodin.