NOTES TO CHAPTER 2 20. [Vicomte François René de Chateaubriand (1768-1848), a forerunner of the romantic movement in French literature, and a royalist of the Bourbon stamp in politics. He served the restored Bourbon monarchy, after Napoleon's fall, as ambassador to England and Germany and as Minister of Foreign Affairs. His most famous works were The Genius of Christianity and Memoirs from beyond the Tomb. —Translator.] End of Notes Start PREVIOUS 6 of 18 NEXT End
During the 9th and 10th centuries, continually threatened by Viking invasions , France became a very decentralised state: the nobility's titles and lands became hereditary, and the authority of the king became more religious than secular and thus was less effective and constantly challenged by powerful noblemen. Thus was established feudalism in France. Over time, some of the king's vassals would grow so powerful that they often posed a threat to the king. For example, after the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William the Conqueror added "King of England" to his titles, becoming both the vassal to (as Duke of Normandy ) and the equal of (as king of England) the king of France, creating recurring tensions.