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The Hunchback of Notre Dame Historical Context

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Historical Context

King Louis XI

Louis XI (1423—1483) was king (he was crowned in 1461) during the time of Hugo's novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame. His reign was characterized by diminished prestige of the courts, intervention in the affairs of the church, and imposition of heavy taxes to support a powerful army. Louis XI tended to turn away from nobility, preferring the common man in his ranks. The nobility, in turn, tried several times to dethrone him. But the lesser gentry and the bourgeois classes, with whom Louis had won favor, refused to revolt against him. His reign, however, was filled with battles for land and power. He had many political enemies, many of whom were imprisoned in very poor conditions for long periods. In the latter years of his reign, Louis feared for his life. He sensed he might be assassinated. For this reason, during the last two years...

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This section contains 846 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Hunchback of Notre Dame Study Guide
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The Hunchback of Notre Dame from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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