The Vision of Politics on the Eve of the Reformation: More, Machiavelli, and Seyssel

The Vision of Politics on the Eve of the Reformation: More, Machiavelli, and Seyssel

The Vision of Politics on the Eve of the Reformation: More, Machiavelli, and Seyssel

The Vision of Politics on the Eve of the Reformation: More, Machiavelli, and Seyssel

Excerpt

About a quarter of a century ago I received a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies to prepare a translation of Claude de Seyssel's La Monarchie de France. Except for some minor revisions to ameliorate slightly the stylistic ineptitude of an author whose gifts for redundancy, flatness of phrasing, and the production of rhetorical clinkers were boundless, the translation was complete two years later. I then set to work on an introduction. That is not finished yet, twenty-odd years later. Lest the Council succumb to a natural temptation to charge me with misappropriation of funds, I am forthwith publishing the book that follows, The Vision of Politics on the Eve of the Reformation. In a time-hallowed waffling phrase which goes as far toward causal imputation as historians sometimes want to go, all the studies in this book "grew out of" investigations related to the still unfinished introduction to the translation of La Monarchie de France. Perhaps, in the reasonable belief that The Vision of Politics satisfies my debt to the Council, I can now get around to publishing the translation with a less elaborate introduction than I first planned.

"Il Principe and lo stato" and "Normal Politics in the Age of Machiavelli" were initially published without considerable editorial revision. I am grateful to the Renaissance Society of America and to the Johns Hopkins University Press respectively for permission to republish the two essays. "The Loom of Language and the Fabric of Imperatives" was subject to considerable revision at the behest of the editor, Professor Stull Holt, before the American Historical Review accepted it. During his brief tenure of the editorship, Professor Holt set an unmatchable standard of patient editorial candor. I remember happily his avowal that he would like to publish the piece but that the readers to whom he sent it agreed that "it was not top-drawer Hexter." With some annoyance I replied that it seemed to me that "the proper standard was not top-drawer Hexter (whatever that was), but middle-

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.