Book Series Studies in European Urban History (1100-1800), vol. 60

Public Opinion and Political Contest in Late Medieval Paris

The Parisian Bourgeois and his Community, 1400-50

Luke Giraudet

  • Pages: 328 p.
  • Size:178 x 254 mm
  • Illustrations:8 b/w, 5 tables b/w., 2 maps b/w
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2023

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-59386-9
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-59387-6
  • E-book
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This book examines political communication in fifteenth-century Paris, revealing how the city’s inhabitants wrote about and engaged with rumour, urban ceremony and official media to assert their own stake in civic and national politics as a time of acute crisis for the French kingdom, thereby revealing the function of fluid opinion communities in late medieval urban society.


“Luke Giraudet (ist) eine über weite Strecken instruktive Untersuchung zur politischen Kultur in Paris in einer der dynamischsten Phasen seiner langen Geschichte gelungen.“ (Jörg Oberste, in Sehepunkte, 23, 7/8, 2023)

« L’ouvrage présente une contribution tout à fait importante à l’étude de l’opinion publique à la fin du Moyen Âge ainsi qu’un nouvel examen intéressant d’une source médiévale très bien connue. L’inclinaison politique de Bourgeois pour le parti bourguignon apparaît ainsi nuancée, bien loin d’un soutien monolithique à la présence anglaise à Paris. » (Pauline Spychala, dans Francia-Recensio, 1, 2024)


Luke Giraudet received his PhD in Medieval Studies from the University of York before joining the Université Catholique de Louvain as a postdoctoral fellow on the Pardons project, examining the narratives of Burgundian and Habsburg remission letters. His research interests range from urban historiography and the production of journals in late-medieval Paris, to questions of state centralization and political contest as revealed by narrative and legal texts in medieval France and the Low Countries.


Public Opinion and Political Contest presents an important historiographical intervention regarding the emergence of larger political publics during the fifteenth century. The study analyses political interaction and public opinion in medieval Europe’s largest city through the lens of the only continuous narrative source compiled in Paris during the early fifteenth century, the well-known Journal d’un bourgeois de Paris. Examining one of the most turbulent periods in Paris’ history, which witnessed civil conflict and English occupation, the monograph contributes substantially to understandings of late medieval popular opinion conceptually and empirically, revealing Parisian groups bound by shared idioms and assumptions engaging with supralocal movements. Through an assessment of contemporary reactions to official communication, protest in public space, rumour and civic ceremony, the book presents a timely mirror to themes in flux today, addressing historiographical conclusions that have relegated premodern societies from considerations of the public sphere. As a result, this nuanced assessment of the Journal d’un bourgeois de Paris reveals how access to informational media and forums for discussion bound Parisians and framed a wider commentary upon political issues beyond the highest echelons of medieval society.


1. The Bourgeois of Paris and his Community
2. Official Communication, Propaganda and Popular Reaction
3. Rumour and Resistance
4. Public Space and Political Contest
5. Civic Ceremony and Royal Ideology