254 Pages
    by Routledge

    First published in 1984, Henry IV describes and tries to account for Henry’s extraordinary life and reign. The book is accompanied, and the arguments are strengthened by numerous plates and maps.

    The life of Henry IV of France was not only dramatic, but it also made a profound difference to the shaping of France in the early 17th century. During his reign, the foundations of the ‘grand siècle’ were laid, not only in military and diplomatic affairs, but also in the arts.

    Almost as striking as the personal contribution made by the king, is the remarkable willingness of the French nobility to wreck the whole recovery from forty years of domestic chaos by plotting with the Spaniards. Eventually, of course, one of these plots succeeded; Henry was killed, and the kingdom was plunged for a while into chaos. This book is a must read for students and researchers of French history.

    Prologue  1. A Prince of Great Promise, 1553–84  2. An Almost Incomparable Vigour of Body, 1584–8  3. A King without a Kingdom  4. The Perilous Leap, 1593–4  5. ‘La guerre au roy d’Hespaigne’, 1595–7  6. ‘L’heureuse saison’, 1598  7. ‘The Hercules That Now Reigns’, 1600  8. The Consolidation of the Dynasty, 1601–2  9. ‘A Confused Labyrinthe’, 1603–4  10. ‘Un malheur inconnu’, 1605–6  11. The Halcyon’s Nest, 1607–9  12. ‘L’infortune de cet abominable jour’  Conclusion: ‘Un roy pour estre grand ne doit rien ignorer’


    David Buisseret graduated from Cambridge University in 1964, serving thereafter at the University of the West Indies (Jamaica, 1964–1980), at The Newberry Library (Chicago,1980–1996) and at the University of Texas (Arlington, 1996–2006). His publications have concerned not only early modern French history, but also that of the Caribbean, as well as of aspects of the history of cartography. He is at present Senior Research Fellow at The Newberry Library.

    Reviews of the first publication:

    ‘A highly readable, sound scholarly survey of France during the reign of Henry IV.’

    --- American Historical Review

    ‘Buisseret writes with assurance. If the focus of this model brief biography is the King, the sections on the personnel and the institutions of the court, household and government are admirable in their sweep and compactness.’

    --- History Today