Dr Guy Rowlands
Dr Guy Rowlands

Guy Rowlands

M.A., D.Phil. (Oxon), F.R.Hist.S. - Reader

Contact Details

E-mail - gr30@st-andrews.ac.uk
Telephone - +44 (0)1334 462886
Fax - +44 (0)1334 462914

Research Profile on Research@StAndrews


Teaching and Research Interests

Research interests lie principally in late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century military, naval, financial and French history. His first book, The Dynastic State and the Army under Louis XIV. Royal Service and Private Interest, 1661 to 1701, used political, social, cultural and military approaches to examine how Louis XIV and his ministers were able to increase the size of the French army five-fold over a period of 30 years, and it stressed the importance of integrating the multiple private interests of noble families into calculations of how to organise the state. This book was co-winner of the Royal Historical Society’s Gladstone Prize in 2002.

He has recently published a second major study, on early eighteenth-century financial history: The Financial Decline of a Great Power. War, Influence, and Money in Louis XIV's France (Oxford University Press, 2012). This book places military paymasters and suppliers at the centre of an explanation of how and why the French state’s financial situation deteriorated dramatically during the War of the Spanish Succession. Louis XIV bequeathed a legacy of debt generated in this war to his successors that made an ultimate breakdown of government much more likely. The book focusses, as no book on early modern state finances has done before, on the full range of state financial activity – taxation, borrowing, monetary policy, the appropriations system and expenditure – to explain how things went so badly wrong.

He is now embarked upon two projects: a short book on the French banking system and its collapse during the War of the Spanish Succession; and a larger book on arms, artillery and absolute monarchy in Louis XIV’s France. In the longer term he is working towards a comprehensive, international, single-volume study of the Nine Years War (1688-97); and a collaborative investigation of foreign mercenaries and auxiliaries in Europe between the Peace of Westphalia and the French Revolution.

Dr Rowlands also has extensive interests in European international and transnational relations between the 1660s and the outbreak of the French Revolution (1789), and he maintains an interest in Jacobitism on the continent between 1688 and 1720.

Dr Rowlands served as Secretary of the UK-wide Society for the Study of French History in 2005-08, and serves on the editorial board of that Society's journal French History. He was Director of the Centre for French History and Culture at St Andrews between 2005 and 2013.

During the Academic Year 2007-2008 Dr Rowlands was a visiting scholar at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universitat Freiburg, Germany, as a Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

During the Academic Year 2010-11 he was a British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellow, and took up a Visiting Fellowship at the Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin.

Dr Rowlands is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He is also a member of the Money, Power and Print association, of the Contractor State Group, and of the Society for Court Studies.

Main Publications

  • The Dynastic State and the Army under Louis XIV. Royal Service and Private Interest, 1661 to 1701 (Cambridge University Press, 2002) [co-winner of Royal Historical Society’s Gladstone Prize (2003) [Details]
  • The Financial Decline of a Great Power. War, Influence, and Money in Louis XIV’s France (Oxford University Press, 2012) [Details]
  • ‘The Ethos of Blood and Changing Values? Robe, épée and the French Armies, 1661 to 1715’ in Seventeenth-Century French Studies, 19 (1997)
  • ‘Louis XIV, Aristocratic Power and the Elite Units of the French Army’ in French History, 13 (1999)
  • ‘Louis XIV, Vittorio Amedeo II and French Military Failure in Italy, 1689-1696’ in English Historical Review, 115 (2000)
  • ‘Louis XIV et la «stratégie de cabinet». Mythe et réalité’ in Revue historique des armées, 222 (2001)
  • ‘An Army in Exile: Louis XIV and the Irish Forces of James II in France, 1691-1698’ in Royal Stuart Paper, 60 (2001)
  • ‘The Monopolisation of Military Power in France, 1515-1715’ in (eds) Ronald G. Asch, Wulf Eckart Voß and Martin Wrede, Frieden und Krieg in der Frühen Neuzeit (Munich, 2001)
  • ‘La guerre et la cour: l’ascension sociale et politique de la famille Le Tellier, 1661-1701’ in A. Tartié et al,Combattre, Gouverner, Ecrire. Etudes réunies en l'honneur de Jean Chagniot (Paris, 2003)
  • ‘The Court and the Political Culture of the French Army under Louis XIV’ in European History 1477-1715. Court, Culture, Power and Diplomacy, 1 (2004)
  • ‘The King’s Two Arms: French Amphibious Warfare in the Mediterranean under Louis XIV, 1664 to 1697’ in (eds) M. Fissel and D. Trim, Amphibious Warfare and European Expansion, 1000-1700: War, Commerce and State-Formation (Leiden, 2005)
  • 'Les artères de l’armée: la trésorerie de l’Extraordinaire des Guerres pendant le règne de Louis XIV' in (ed.) Marie-Laure Legay, Les modalités de paiement de l’État moderne: adaptation et blocage d’un système comptable (Paris, 2007)
  • ‘France 1709: Le Crunch’ in History Today 59(2) (2009)
  • 'Foreign Service in the Age of Absolute Monarchy: Louis XIV and his Forces Étrangères’, in War in History 17 (2010)
  • 'Patronage, Absolutism and the Integration of France under Louis XIV. – The Role of the Army’ in (ed.s) Ronald G. Asch, Birgit Emich und Jens-Ivo Engels, Integration, Legitimation, Korruption: Politische Patronage in Früher Neuzeit und Moderne (Darmstadt, 2011)
  • 'Moving Mars: the Logistical Geography of Louis XIV’s France’, in French History 25 (2011)
  • ‘The Maison militaire du Roi and the Disintegration of the Old Regime’ in (ed.s) Julian Swann and Joël Félix, The Crisis of the Absolute Monarchy. From the Old Regime to the French Revolution (Oxford, 2013

Dr Rowlands is also editor-in-chief of the St Andrews Studies in French History and Culture series of midigraphs, published by the Centre for French History and Culture.

Administrative Duties

Chair of the Modern History degree programme

Communications Officer, School of History (joint position with Dr Katie Stevenson)

Teaching Duties

At undergradate level, participates in the teaching of First Level Modern History courses and offers the following Honours courses:

Also teaches on the M.Litt. in Early Modern History (which he designed and launched), and on the M.Litt. in Reformation Studies.

Research Students

Current Research Students

Former Research Students

Dr Rowlands welcomes enquiries for Masters or doctoral research in any of his areas of teaching and research interest (see above).


Main Publications