Julian H. Franklin
The St Bartholomew's Day Massacre of 1572 polarised French constitutional ideas. Appearing on one side was a radicalised version of the French constitution. On the other side was the theory of royal absolutism systematically developed by Bodin. The central thesis of this book is that Bodin's absolutism was as unprecedented as the doctrine it opposed. Prior to the 1570s the mainstream of the French tradition had been tentatively constitutionalist and Bodin himself had given strong expression to that tendency in his Methodus of 1566. His earlier theory of sovereignty, elaborated in that work, was implicitly adapted to a notion of limited supremacy. Professor Franklin's aim is to explain how this absolutist view was formed. In doing so, he has clarified many of the notorious obscurities in Bodin's thought and since much of the absolutist doctrine of the seventeenth century was either based on Bodin's theory or relied on similar assumptions, this study will be of great importance and interest to scholars of a later period.