Eminence by Jean-Vincent Blanchard
Cardinal Richelieu and the Rise of France

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Synopsis

Chief minister to King Louis XIII, Cardinal Richelieu was the architect of a new France in the seventeenth century, and the force behind the nation's rise as a European power. Among the first statesmen to clearly understand the necessity of a balance of powers, he was one of the early realist politicians, practicing in the wake of Niccolò Machiavelli. Truly larger than life, he has captured the imagination of generations, both through his own story and through his portrayal as a ruthless political mastermind in Alexandre Dumas's classic The Three Musketeers.


Forging a nation-state amid the swirl of unruly, grasping nobles, widespread corruption, wars of religion, and an ambitious Habsburg empire, Richelieu's hands were always full. Serving his fickle monarch, he mastered the politics of absolute power. Jean-Vincent Blanchard's rich and insightful new biography brings Richelieu fully to life in all his complexity. At times cruel and ruthless, Richelieu was always devoted to creating a lasting central authority vested in the power of monarchy, a power essential to France's position on the European stage for the next two centuries. Richelieu's careful understanding of politics as spectacle speaks to contemporary readers; much of what he accomplished was promoted strategically through his great passion for theater and literature, and through the romance of power. Éminence offers a rich portrait of a fascinating man and his era, and gives us a keener understanding of the dark arts of politics.

 

About Jean-Vincent Blanchard

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Jean-Vincent Blanchard is an associate professor of French literature and politics at Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. He is the author of several books published in France; this is his first book published in English.
 
Published September 20, 2011 by Walker Books. 320 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Eminence

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In life, he was a pragmatic diplomat and nation builder, a shrewd adviser to a moody king.

Oct 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Eminence: Cardinal Richelieu ...

Macleans

Thanks to endless film versions of Alexandre Dumas’s The Three Musketeers, Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal de Richelieu (1585 to 1642)—the power behind the throne of French king Louis XIII—does have a place in the Anglosphere’s pop historical consciousness.

Sep 07 2011 | Read Full Review of Eminence: Cardinal Richelieu ...

Daily Kos

I like to think I read "serious" books, but right now I just want some page turners where I don't have to think much :).

Jun 06 2012 | Read Full Review of Eminence: Cardinal Richelieu ...

Daily Kos

[ Parent ].

May 02 2012 | Read Full Review of Eminence: Cardinal Richelieu ...

Daily Kos

Nothing personal - I'm computerless right now - writing this from a library.

Jun 27 2012 | Read Full Review of Eminence: Cardinal Richelieu ...

Bookmarks Magazine

At times cruel and ruthless, Richelieu was always devoted to creating a lasting central authority vested in the power of monarchy, a power essential to France's position on the European stage for the next two centuries.

Oct 24 2011 | Read Full Review of Eminence: Cardinal Richelieu ...

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