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Royal Favouritism and the Governing Elite of the Spanish Monarchy, 1640-1665$
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Alistair Malcolm

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198791904

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198791904.001.0001

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Kingship, and the Perfect Courtier

Kingship, and the Perfect Courtier

(p.17) 1 Kingship, and the Perfect Courtier
Royal Favouritism and the Governing Elite of the Spanish Monarchy, 1640-1665

Alistair Malcolm

Oxford University Press

The first chapter considers two quite different traditions of writing on the subject of kingship: (i) the humanist ideas represented by Juan de Mariana and the second scholastic tradition of the universities; and (ii) literature on the theme of the perfect courtier as expressed in the work of Baltasar Gracián. As royal favourite, don Luis de Haro is shown to have been a discreet and approachable intercessor between king and nobility. As such, he conformed perfectly to the courtly discourse. However, his presence at the king’s side was regarded as anathema to the more academic expectations of kingship. Meanwhile, ministers like the counts of Peñaranda and La Roca, and Diego de Saavedra Fajardo, found themselves torn between uneasy participation within the regimes that sustained them, and strict adherence to the official line that the king had a duty to govern his kingdoms in person.

Keywords:   intercession, Mariana, La Roca, Quevedo, scholasticism, dissimulation, nonchalance, politeness, Saavedra Fajardo, Gracián

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