chapter  4
Pages 17

Instead of simply asserting that the failure of policies led to the dismissal of a minister, the historian of the ancien régime must try to explain how it was that, in the arena of the court, the failure of policies was translated into the collapse of his power and support. With the aid of the correspondence of the duc de Richelieu, and of three sets of reports from particularly well-informed ambassadors, it is possible to follow this process in detail for the duc de Bourbon. New light can be thrown on the mechanism of court politics because the manœuvres can be reconstructed with some precision.