City Readers Digital Historic Collections at the New York Society Library
Jacques Bénigne Bossuet (1627-1704)
Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet (French: [bɔsɥɛ]; 27 September 1627 – 12 April 1704) was a French bishop and theologian, renowned for his sermons and other addresses. He has been considered by many to be one of the most brilliant orators of all time and a masterly French stylist.
Court preacher to Louis XIV of France, Bossuet was a strong advocate of political absolutism and the divine right of kings. He argued that government was divine and that kings received their power from God. He was also an important courtier and politician.
The works best known to English speakers are three great orations delivered at the funerals of Queen Henrietta Maria, widow of Charles I of England (1669), her daughter, Henriette, Duchess of Orléans (1670), and the outstanding soldier le Grand Condé (1687).
His work Discours sur l'histoire universelle or Discourse on Universal History (1681) is regarded by many Catholics as an actualization or second edition of the City of God of St. Augustine of Hippo.