In the second half of the sixteenth century, France was racked by religious civil wars and peace was only restored when Henry of Navarre finally converted to Catholicism, deciding – in his immortal phrase – that 'Paris is worth a mass'.
In this lucid introduction to a complex period in French history, Robert Knecht:
- Explains the evangelical and Lutheran origins of the Huguenot Church in France
- Challenges simplistic interpretations of the religious conflict as purely a cloak for political rebellion
- Provides concise analysis of the wars themselves and the ferment of political ideas which they generated
- Evaluates the extent of France’s recovery under Henry IV
This third edition has been updated throughout to take account of the latest scholarship, particularly on the Massacre of St. Bartholomew and the reign of Henry III when the monarchy almost succumbed to the challenge posed by the Catholic League. There is a new colour plate section and the main text is supported by a full glossary of terms, maps and three detailed genealogical tables, as well as a carefully chosen selection of original documents.
Each book in the Seminar Studies in History series provides a concise and reliable introduction to complex events and debates. Written by acknowledged experts and supported by extracts from historical Documents, a Chronology, Glossary, Who’s Who of key figures and Guide to Further Reading, Seminar Studies in History are the essential guides to understanding a topic.
Table of Contents
Preface to third edition
Note on referencing system
PART ONE: ANALYSIS
1. THE GROWTH OF CALVINISM
2. THE KINGDOM IN CRISIS
3. CATHERINE DE’ MEDICI AND THE COLLOQUY OF POISSY
4. THE FIRST THREE RELIGIOUS WARS
5. THE MASSACRE OF ST BARTHOLOMEW
6. HUGUENOT SURVIVAL AND RESISTANCE
7. HENRY III
8. ‘PARIS IS WORTH A MASS’: THE TRIUMPH OF HENRY IV
PART TWO: DOCUMENTS
1. The Tumult of Amboise, 1560
2. Michel de L’Hôpital: The Voice of Moderation, 13 December 1560.
3. The Colloquy of Poissy, 9 September-18 October 1561.
4. Monluc in Guyenne, 1562.
5. The situation in 1562: A Venetian view of France
6. Promises to avenge the murder of François, duke of Guise, 1563.
7. The St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, 1572.
8. The Huguenot State in the South, 1572.
9. Francogallia by François Hotman, 1573.
10. TheRight of Magistrates by Théodore De Bèze, 1574.
11. The Peace of Monsieur, 6 May 1576.
12. The Royal Mignons, July 1576.
13. The Defence of Liberty against Tyrants by Philippe Du Plessis-Mornay, 1579.
14. The Order of the Holy Ghost, January 1579.
15. The ‘Day of the Barricades’, 12 May, 1588.
16. The murder of Henri, Duke of Guise, at Blois, 23 December 1588.
17. The death of Catherine de’ Medici, 5 January 1589.
18. The assassination of Henry III, 1 August 1589.
19. An apologia for the Sixteen, 1593.
20. The Edict of Nantes, 13 April 1598.
21. Henry IV’s speech to the Parlement of Paris, 7 February 1599.
R. J. Knecht is Emeritus Professor of French history, University of Birmingham.