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Story of War (Hardback)

Church & Propaganda in France & Sweden in 1610-1710

Imprint: Nordic Academic Press
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9789188168665
Published: 16th December 2016
Casemate UK Academic

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The endless wars of the seventeenth century took their toll in the lives of millions of soldiers and crushing taxes. To legitimise war, Europes rulers turned to the Church: O God, we praise you, Te Deum Laudamus, was sung in the churches of France and Sweden to celebrate victory in battle. It was a way of thanking God, but also an opportunity for congregations to learn what had happened -- and an occasion for festivities. In this book, the historian Anna Maria Forssberg applies a narrative and ritual perspective to the Te Deum, looking at specific wars such as the Thirty Years War and at themes such as peace and enmity. This is a unique, comparative study of war propaganda in early modern times, and how it defined the roles of ruler and ruled alike. There were national differences, but ultimately all war stories were highly selective. Bloody defeat and uneventful everyday life were glossed over; what mattered were spectacular victories and royal glory. Yet in the end, the war stories peddled in both Sweden and France were profoundly challenged by the crisis of 1709.

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