Noble Strategies in an Early Modern Small State addresses a subject few other scholars of early modern Europe attempt: the hundreds of small states that made up the overwhelming majority of Europe's political entities before the nineteenth century. Author Charles Lipp studies the elite of the duchy of Lorraine, a territory strategically placed geographically and culturally along the frontiers dividing France and Germany, and a region contested for centuries by the Habsburgs of the Holy Roman Empire and the Valois and Bourbons of the kingdom of France. Rather than focus on either the dukes of Lorraine or the dynasties like the Guise or the Bassompierre, as other studies havedone, this volume analyzes a family belonging to the lower nobility, the Mahuet, over several generations from the late-sixteenth through the early-eighteenth centuries. The book explores how this family rose to social prominenceduring a chaotic period in their homeland's history, a time marked by foreign invasion, military occupation, and an outbreak of the plague, among other trials.
Charles Lipp is Assistant Professor of History, Universityof West Georgia.