In 1649, during the Fronde Parlementaire (1648-1650), Paris was teetering between opposing political camps that were trying to seize control of the city. The city's bourgeois parliament, in open rebellion to the political policies of King Louis XIV's Chief Minister, Cardinal Jules Mazarin, was raising an army and threatening to oust the Italian imposter. With the rise in violence within the city limits, Parisian printers and booksellers began circulating political propaganda in the form of booklets, mini-plays, brochures, and pamphlets that came to be known as mazarinades. Because these mazarinades—which took their name from the very man they were either attacking or defending—were often scathing in their criticism of the political forces at play within the city, they were rarely attributed to an identifiable author. But while the minds behind the matter were usually anonymous, the authors of the mazarinades made frequent reference to specific public places within Paris in an attempt to rally support to their cause. These public places, especially the Bourbon-constructed projects of the Pont-Neuf and the Place Royale, were depicted in new ways to transform Parisian perceptions of the functionality of those places and to alter the relationship between the city's inhabitants and their Bourbon royal family. This was done in an effort to manipulate public opinion and to redefine the urban culture of the city during the conflict.This thesis demonstrates that the mazarinades were altering their Parisian readers' perceptions of the Pont-Neuf and the Place Royale as they tried to sway public opinion in favor of their authors' partisan viewpoints of the citywide conflict. By appropriating these places and subsequently attributing specific political viewpoints and behaviors to their visitors, the authors of the mazarinades sought to change the way Parisians perceived those places and thus redirect the political atmosphere of the city. Public space became the critical intersection of the many political camps and emerged as a major thematic element in the many mazarinades circulating throughout Paris at that time.



College and Department

Humanities; French and Italian



Date Submitted


Document Type





mazarinades, Fronde, urban imaginaries, Paris, Pont-Neuf, Place Royale