Penser l’après Louis XIV - Histoire, mémoire, représentation (1715-2015)

Work published with the financial support of the CRCV.

Publication of papers from the international symposium Penser l’après Louis XIV. Histoire, mémoire, représentations (1715-2015) (Paris and La Courneuve, 3-5 June 2015), directed by Sven Externbrink and Charles-Édouard Levillain, Éditions Honoré Champion, (“Dix-Huitième Siècle” Collection, no. 203), June 2018, 15,5 x 23,5 cm, 324 p., €48 (ISBN: 978-2-7453-4806-7).


The tercentenary in 2015 of the death of the Sun King was an opportunity to reflect on the long and rich history of the period 1660-1715, as well as on his legacy and his memory. This work is devoted to an analysis of the period after 1715, examining the way in which the critical interpretation of Louis XIV’s reign, which started well before the Age of Enlightenment, came to lend support to European nationalisms during the second half of the 19th century, before being radically revived in the second half of the 20th century under the influence of new methodological insights. Consideration is given to the existence of a persistent discrepancy between a French and non-French (sometimes anti-French) approach to the reign of Louis XIV. Beyond the predictable question of comparative historiographies, commentaries tend towards the appearance and development of a sort of vulgate in relation to Louis XIV, an arsenal of clichés and stereotypes, which, even today, are used as a matrix for an understanding of the Great Century. Behind the persistence of some received ideas about the Sun King is in fact the question of the paradigmatic nature of the “century of Louis XIV”, in the perception of the practice and representation of power.

Sven Externbrink is associate professor at the université de Heidelberg. His works focus on the history of France and the history of international relations in the modern era.
Charles-Édouard Levillain is professor of British history at the université de Paris-Diderot. His works focus on the history of England and the United Provinces in the 17th century.

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