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Boulainvilliers, Henri

BOULAINVILLIERS, HENRI, Comte de (1658-1722), French political writer, was born at St Saire in Normandy in 1658. He was educated at the college of Juilly, and served in the army until 1697. He wrote a number of historical works (published after his death), of which the most important were the following: Histoire de l'ancien gouvernement de la France (La Haye, 1727); Etat de la France, avec des mémoires sur l'ancien gouvernement (London, 1727); Histoire de la pairie de France (London, 1753); Histoire des Arabes (1731). His writings are characterized by an extravagant admiration of the feudal system. He was an aristocrat of the most pronounced type, attacking absolute monarchy on the one hand and popular government on the other. He was at great pains to prove the pretensions of his own family to ancient nobility, and maintained that the government should be entrusted solely to men of his class. He died in Paris on the 23rd of January 1722.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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