Donald A. Bailey, transcriber and editor of Nicolas Lefévre, sieur de Lezeau, La vie de Michel de Marillac (1560-1632), Garde des Sceaux de France sous Louis XIII. Les Presses de l’Université Laval, 2007. 724pp. Illustrations, maps, tables, appendices, notes, bibliography, and index. $69.95 CAN ISBN 978-2-7637-8313-0.
From the publisher: La Vie de Michel de Marillac, written by his devoted friend Nicolas Lefèvre de Lezeau, is here presented for the first time in its integrity. Important home d’état, Michel de Marillac (1560-1632) served the French Crown as councilor in the Parlement de Pars, maître des requêtes under Henry IV, and conseiller du roi under Louis XIII. Becoming a conseiller d’état, he was named Surintendant des Finances (from August 1624 to June 1626), then Garde des Sceaux until his disgrace in mid-November 1630, after the famous Day of Dupes. By his intelligence, energy, experience and probity, he was one of the most significant figures in the reign of Louis XIII. Marillac was the principal author of the Ordonnance de 1629, the largest ever codification of French law, which was known familiarly by his name: the “Code Michau.” Chief of the dévot part, he was among the most influential lay persons active in the establishment in France of the Reformed Carmelites (1602-1604), the Ursulines (1610) and the Oratorians (1611). He produced one of the best translations of Thomas à Kempis’s Imitation of Christ and a translation of the Psalms, and was the author of several other scholarly works.
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