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Synopsis

The 'personal rule' of Louis XIV witnessed a massive increase in the size of the French army and an apparent improvement in the quality of its officers, its men and the War Ministry. However, this is the first book to treat the French army under Louis XIV as a living political, social and economic organism, an institution which reflected the dynastic interests and personal concerns of the king and his privileged subjects. The book explains the development of the army between the end of Cardinal Mazarin's ministry and the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession, emphasising the awareness of Louis XIV and his ministers of the need to pay careful attention to the condition of the king's officers, and to take account of their military, political, social, and cultural aspirations.

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