Counsel is one of the most important, least understood, and most elusive elements of politics in early modern France. Table talk in all households revolved around plots and schemes designed to further the lineage at the expense of one's neighbour. Plots were disguised as fair duels or chance encounters. Behind much of the surviving evidence of face-to-face killing in this period lies the hidden history of calculation and conspiracy. One of the best documented vengeance killings of the 17th century involving two feuding families provides a good opportunity to explore the dynamics of family decision making and group solidarity. This chapter also discusses ambush and surprise attacks, use of disguise and concealment to commit crime, and escape of those who committed the crime.
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