A professor of history at the University of North Carolina, is a specialist of early-modern France, especially in the later seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Most of his work traces the negotiation of change over time, and he often uses the history of language to gain access to processes of change. Smith has written on the development of royal absolutism, the emergence of patriotic rhetoric and habits of thought under the old regime, the origins of the French Revolution, and the history of the nobility. His most recent book, Monsters of the Gévaudan, places a fantastic legend about a ferocious man-eating beast within the context of its emergence in the 1760s.
Some notable publications are listed below:
The French Nobility in the Eighteenth Century: Reassessments and New Approaches (Penn State University Press, 2006)
Nobility Reimagined: The Patriotic Nation in Eighteenth-Century France (Cornell University Press, 2005)
The Culture of Merit: Nobility, Royal Service, and the Making of Absolute Monarchy in France, 1600–1789 (University of Michgan Press, 1996)
Join Our E-Mail List