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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

The Zenith of European Monarchy and its Elites

The Politics of Culture, 1650-1750

ISBN 9780333613900
Publication Date March 2010
Formats Hardcover Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series European History in Perspective

By the mid-seventeenth century, several major European monarchies were collapsing. Battered by incessant war and religious rebellion, rulers clashed with landowners and clergy on whom they relied for territorial and spiritual support. Nicholas Henshall argues that from this crisis emerged a new deal. Monarchs reasserted traditional values and resolved to work with, rather than against, their nobles and churches.

The Zenith of European Monarchy and its Elites: The Politics of Culture, 1650-1750:
• focuses on a previously neglected key elite bonding strategy
• explains how a common identity was forged by erecting cultural defences against outsiders
• demonstrates how the power and prestige of the ruling classes rose to unprecedented heights.

Essential reading for students and scholars of early modern European history, this fascinating new study shows how the period 1650-1750 gains a new coherence - as the pinnacle of Europe's monarchies and their elites.

NICHOLAS HENSHALL was formerly Head of History at Stockport Grammar School and editor of History Review magazine. His previous publications include The Myth of Absolutism (1992).

Key Themes of Elite Culture
The Cultural Construction of Elite Identity
Basic Agendas: Political Culture, Religion and 'Science'
Media and Messages: The Arts
The End of an Age: The Mid-Eighteenth Century


'Henshall's book is distinguised by exceptionally broad geographical and cultural perspectives... [he] has written another tour de force.' - Philip Mansel, History Today
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