This is a lively narrative account, based on previously unused material, of the events that marked the troubled relationship between Louis XV, the clergy of France, and the Parlement of Paris in the mid-eighteenth century. The author shows how religious disputes drove a wedge between the King and the leading magistrates of his kingdom, leading to the exile of the Parlement in 1753-4. He describes the way in which legal and procedural conflicts gave rise to a debate about the nature of the Monarchy itself, the exercise of royal authority, and the rights of the subject under the protection of law. Debates inside the Parlement are analysed, using the reports of highly placed government spies and agents, and new light is shed on the part played by the King.
'This is a book to make slothful humanity tremble and to stir historians out of complacency ... a book to be savoured.' John McManners, The Times Literary Supplement