Venality: The Sale of Offices in Eighteenth-Century France


In early modern France almost all posts of public responsibility could only be acquired by purchase or inheritance. By the eighteenth century there were 70,000 venal offices comprising the entire judiciary, most of the legal profession, officers in the army, and a wide range of other professions. William Doyle, one of the foremost historians of early modern Europe, traces the evolution and dissolution of a system which was one of the central institutions of French life for over three centuries.

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • W. D.
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Oxford
Publication year:
  • 1996


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