Posted by The Mysterious H.C. on January 01, 1998 at 09:26:48:
In response to French titles, written by Carolyn on December 31, 1997 at 11:39:01
] Duc/Duchesse = Duke/Duchess
] Comte/Comtesse = Earl/Countess
] Vicomte/Vicomtesse = Viscount/Viscountess
] I am unsure of the lesser titles.
Carolyn -- pretty much what I know about French titles is from briefly glancing at messages that happened to be posted to the Usenet groups alt.talk.royalty and/or rec.heraldry, but I gather that the French system of nobility was a lot more messy than the British system, and that (as is frequent on the Continent), one's formal noble rank (duke, count, baron etc.) isn't really nearly as significant as the antiquity of one's family, and how one's title of nobility was aquired -- and that many people in a family, besides the senior heir by primogeniture, would be "titled" in some way (as opposed to the British system, in which there is only one "peer" for each noble title) -- not to mention the existence of "untitled nobility".
There's a web page at http://caltrap.bbsnet.com/some.htm, and probably more info at http://www.ChivalricOrders.org/nobility/ (but that server seems to be down right now...).
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