| Share
 

Father Joseph

Joseph, Father (François Leclerc du Tremblay), 1577–1638, French Capuchin monk, a confidant and agent of Cardinal Richelieu, generally known as the Éminence Grise [gray eminence]. Combining the elements of a mystic and of a Machiavellian politician, he devoted his life with equal energy to missionary work and to the shady and delicate diplomatic negotiations with which Richelieu entrusted him. He dreamed of a crusade against the Turks and of the restoration of Roman Catholicism throughout Europe, yet he lent his services to a policy that strengthened Protestantism and the Ottoman Empire at the expense of the Catholic house of Hapsburg. Rumors ascribed to him an evil influence over the cardinal. It is more likely, however, that Father Joseph was a pliable instrument in the cardinal's hands and that his influence on the events that led to the entry of France into the Thirty Years War has been vastly exaggerated. Unlike his master, Father Joseph sought no material rewards. He is the subject of a study by Aldous Huxley, Grey Eminence (1941, repr. 1969).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Father Joseph from Infoplease:

See more Encyclopedia articles on: French History: Biographies


Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring