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This is not primarily a book about the early modern court, as the description erroneously assumes but about the transformation of the European nobilities in the 16th and 17th centuries. It looks at a period in which challenges to old established noble elites abounded, such as the new codes of conduct and social discipline which the confessional churches tried to impose. In the long run however, nobles were able to assimilate such cultural trends and to subordinate them to their own system of values.
The books looks at political and social changes, examines the impact princely courts had on noble life and analyzes issues such as the refeudalization of state and society in southern Europe and the increasing urbanization of noble elites in the period under discussion. While paying due attention to the great heterogeneity of the nobility in Europe and Britain, Nobilities in Transitions shows how the adherence to common values and ideals gave noble elites coherence and a shared sense of identity.
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