Plague, Towns and Monarchy in Early Modern France

Neil Murphy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


This Element examines the emergence of comprehensive plague management systems in early modern France. While the historiography on plague argues that the plague of Provence in the 1720s represented the development of a new and 'modern' form of public health care under the control of the absolutist monarchy, it shows that the key elements in this system were established centuries earlier because of the actions of urban governments. It moves away from taking a medical focus on plague to examine the institutions that managed disease control in early modern France. In doing so, it seeks to provide a wider context of French plague care to better understand the systems used at Provence in the 1720s. It shows that the French developed a polycentric system of plague care which drew on the input of numerous actors combat the disease.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages75
ISBN (Electronic)9781009233798
ISBN (Print)9781009233781
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 12 Mar 2024

Publication series

NameElements in the Renaissance
PublisherCambridge University Press

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