George Chastelain and the Shaping of Valois Burgundy: Political and Historical Culture at Court in the Fifteenth Century
Few texts offer as many insights into the history of Valois Burgundy as the work of George Chastelain (c.1414-1475), official chronicler to the dukes Philip the Good and Charles the Bold. Chastelain, a trusted courtier, closely observed his masters' authority in the many dominions they ruled in the Low Countries and France, and the role they played in the political life of neighbouring kingdoms and principalities and in Christendom as a whole. This is the first historical study of Chastelain in over half a century. An account of his life and career is followed by a study of his chronicle, Chastelain's interpretation within it of ducal actions and aspirations, and the role it played in the historical culture of the governing classes in the Netherlands after the death of the last duke in 1477. Overall, Dr Small offers a complete reappraisal of the political ambitions of the ducal elite, particularly with regard to the supposed evolution of the ducal dominions into a "Burgundian state" quite distinct from the Kingdom of France. Dr GRAEME SMALL is lecturer in medieval history, University of Glasgow.
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