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Author Ravel, Jeffrey S.

Title The would-be commoner : a tale of deception, murder, and justice in seventeenth-century France / Jeffrey S. Ravel
Published Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2008


Location Call no. Vol. Availability
 MELB  KB 65 Lapiva Rav/Wbc  AVAILABLE
Description xxv, 288 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Contents Prologue: The Mystery of Louis de la Pivardiere -- 1. Becoming a Gentleman -- 2. The Murder Narrative -- 3. Preliminary Judgement -- 4. Nobleman, Commoner, or Imposter? -- 5. Stage Plays -- 6. Judicial Doubt -- 7. Interrogation -- 8. Verdicts -- Epilogue: Rewriting a Cause Celebre
Summary "From the historian Jeffrey Ravel comes a scandalous tale of imposture that sheds new light on French politics and culture in the pivotal but underexamined period leading up to the Enlightenment." "In the waning days of the seventeenth century, a French nobleman named Louis de la Pivardiere returned from the Nine Years War and, for unknown reasons, gave up his aristocratic life to marry the daughter of an innkeeper in a remote village. But several years later, struggling financially, he returned to his first wife in search of money. She turned him away, and he disappeared under mysterious circumstances. This led to a murder investigation and the arrest of Pivardiere's first wife and her alleged lover, a local prior. Stranger yet, Pivardiere finally did come out of hiding but was believed by many to be an impostor conjured up in order to clear the wife of murder charges."
"The case became a cause celebre across France, an obsession among everyone from the peasantry to the courts, from the Comedie-Francaise to Louis XIV himself. It was finally left to a brilliant young jurist, Henri-Francois d'Aguesseau, to separate fact from fiction and set France on a path to a new and enlightened view of justice."--BOOK JACKET
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references( pages 268-270) and index
Subject La Pivardière, Louis de, sieur Du Bouchet, 1661-1702 -- Trials, litigation, etc.
Chauvelin, Marguerite Françoise -- Trials, litigation, etc.
Trials (Murder) -- France -- Paris.
Genre/Form Trial and arbitral proceedings.
LC no. 2008003848
ISBN 9780618197316