History Today subscription

J.H.M. Salmon

J.H.M. Salmon explains how spiritual values and political objectives were deeply in conflict throughout the long reign of Louis XIV.

J.H.M. Salmon shows how spiritual values and political objectives were deeply in conflict throughout the long reign of Louis XIV.

J.H.M. Salmon describes how lust for power was the consuming motive of Marie de Médicis' life, but also how she failed to identify her personal ambitions with the symbolic meaning of the French crown.

During the minority of Louis XV, France was ruled by his predecessor’s nephew, a good-natured and quick-witted prince, but indolent, indifferent and self-indulgent. Philip’s ascent to power raised high hopes of a radical reform in French domestic policy, writes J.H.M. Salmon.

Portrait of Jules Mazarin by Pierre Mignard (1658)

France we know, but French governments perplex us, writes J.H.M. Salmon. Mazarin’s was one of the oddest regimes that France has undergone. This Italian “condottiere in diplomacy” ruled France, despite recalcitrant noblemen and civil war, for nearly twenty years.

J.H.M. Salmon introduces a Machiavellian despot, as well as the gallant leader of a gay and brilliant court. Francis had the good fortune to embody the aspirations of France in his own ambition.

Only by a trick of fate in 1683, finds J.H.M. Salmon,  were Charles II and his brother preserved from an ambush that might have put an end to monarchy in England.

J. H. M. Salmon looks at Romantic literary interpretations of Oliver Cromwell.