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Pierre Boaistuau (c. 1517-1566) and the employment of humanism in mid sixteenth-century France

Doukas, Georgios (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This study examines the manifestations of French humanism in sixteenth-century intellectual culture, through an analysis, for the first time, of the entirety of the works of Pierre Boaistuau. An eminent French humanist writer, on whose life little information exists, Boaistuau emerges far more prolific than any previous study has hitherto recognised. Thus, on a first level, his case offers the opportunity for an exploration of the developments of French print culture at the time. In addition, careful examination of the contents of his widely circulated works sheds new light on the ways humanist themes and values were incorporated into contemporary literary production, and were used for different purposes which surpassed the mere celebration of ancient learning. Boaistuau employed seven genres in order to compile seven books of different natures, all of them however grafted onto a humanist framework. Associated with narrative fiction, Renaissance philosophy, political theory, the study of history, and natural philosophy, his works demonstrate how the classical past and the humanist values of virtue, erudition, and self-discipline were used in a variety of ways in mid sixteenth-century France: for promotion of a moralising message, praise of the French monarchy, bolstering the Catholic faith, and enhancing the understanding of the natural world.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Fulton, Elaine
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:School of History and Cultures
Subjects:B Philosophy (General)
D History (General)
DC France
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3239
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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