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Richelieu's Desmarets and the Century of Louis XIV$
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Hugh Gaston Hall

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198151579

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198151579.001.0001

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Clovis, ou la France Chrestienne

Clovis, ou la France Chrestienne

(p.286) 14 Clovis, ou la France Chrestienne
Richelieu's Desmarets and the Century of Louis XIV

Hugh Gaston Hall

Oxford University Press

Clovis is Jean Desmarets's most substantial contribution to heroic poetry. It is his longest, most carefully crafted, best produced, and most successful non-dramatic poem. It is also the literary work with which he was concerned for the longest time, over forty years. Clovis, ‘poëme héroïque’ which might equally well be described as an allegorical romance in verse is a celebration of the life, conversion, and deeds of Clovis I, King of the Francs. In this chapter, Desmarets's ‘l'histoire’ means virtually any traditional written testimony, including hagiography, legend, and myth. The Christian marvellous is an integral part of the subject: the miracles associated with the conversion and baptism of Clovis are the first associated with the miraculous Kings of France, anticipating the miraculous birth of Louis XIV himself.

Keywords:   Clovis, Jean Desmarets, heroic poetry, poëme héroïque, Clovis I, l'histoire, Christian marvelous, Louis XIV

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