Chief Minister to King Louis XIII, Cardinal Richelieu was the architect of a new France in the seventeenth century and the force behind the nation's rise as a European power. One of the first statesmen to clearly understand the necessity of a balance of powers, he has captured the imagination of generations, both through the story of his life and through Alexandre Dumas's portrayal of him as a ruthless political mastermind in the classic The Three Musketeers. Jean-Vincent Blanchard's rich and insightful new biography brings Richelieu fully to life in all his complexity. His careful understanding of politics as spectacle speaks to contemporary readers; much of what he accomplished was promoted strategically through his great passion for theater and literature. ƒminence offers a rich portrait of a fascinating man and his era, and gives us a keener understanding of the dark art of politics. Blanchard's captivating biography vividly captures the rise to power of a seminal figure who was instrumental in creating France as we kw it. -Publishers Weekly (starred review) Lovers of intrigue and derring-do will enjoy Jean-Vincent Blanchard's Eminence ... [His] lively style will appeal to general readers, while history buffs will appreciate his careful foottes and plethora of primary sources. -The Baltimore Sun
Jean-Vincent Blanchard is an associate professor of French literature and politics at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. He has published on a broad range of subjects in politics, history, religion, philosophy, and the arts. This is his first book published in English.