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Lecoy de La Marche

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(RICHARD-ALBERT).

French historian; b. at Nemours, 1839; d. at Paris, 1897. He left the Ecole des Chartes in 1861, and was appointed archivist of the Department of Haute Savoie. In 1864 he went to Paris as archivist in the historical section of the Archives Nationales; he was also, for many years, professor of French history at the Catholic Institute in Paris. Lecoy de La Marche was gifted with rare qualities as a writer and scholar, and what is still more remarkable, he never separated the research for and the diffusion of historical truth from the defence and propagation of religious truth. His masterpiece is his "Chaire française au moyen âge" (Paris, 1868), which was awarded a prize by the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. It has served as a model for many books on this subject, but has remained to this day the standard work of its kind. It consists of three parts: "Les prédicateurs; les sermons; la société d'aprés les sermons". Part I begins with a summary of the history of preaching in the primitive Church, and in France previous to the eleventh century, and then gives an exhaustive history of the French preachers in the following centuries, especially the thirteenth. Part II deals with the audiences, the time and the place of preaching, and the various kinds of sermons. Part III, which is perhaps the most remarkable section of the book, is a study of French society in the Middle Ages as it appears in the light of the sermons. Kings, lords, bishops, priests, monks, burgesses, peasants, men and women, pass before our eves, with their characteristic traits and weaknesses. Lecoy de La Marche also published: "L'académie de France à Rome" (1874); "Le roi René, sa vie, son administration" (1873); "Anecdotes historiques, etc." (1876); "La Société au XIIIe siècle" (1880); "Saint Martin" (1881); "Les manuscrits et la miniature" (1884); "Relations politiques de la France et du royaume de Majorque" (1892), etc.

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