This famous series examines key themes in British, European and World history in short, succinct volumes. The text is supported by primary material in a Documents section, a full bibliography and an index; where appropriate there are maps, chronologies and glossaries. All the books in the series are written by experts in the field who are not only familiar with the latest research but have often contributed to it. Works of scholarship in their own right, the books also provide a survey of current historical interpretations. Longman has now inaugurated a major programme of renewal and expansion for Seminar Studies, with many new titles and new editions in the pipeline. Existing books are being re-presented in a larger, more reader-friendly format as they reprint; and new books and new editions are being reset into an entirely new page design. 'R.J.Knecht is a notable expert in this field, so the reputation of this series cannot fail to be enhanced by this volume...'Teaching History of the First EditionThis Seminar Study provides the reader with a lucid introduction to a complex period of French history.
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'. Professor Knecht begins his study by explaining how the Huguenot Church grew out of the evangelicalism of the early sixteenth century and of the failure of Francis I to check the influx of Lutheranism. He then goes on to show how the rivalry between leading noble houses developed into political and religious conflict, challenging the assumption that religion was used merely as a cloak for rebellion. He provides a succinct analysis of the wars themselves and considers the ferment of political ideas which they generated. The subject is set in its widest context as the author looks at the effect which the wars had on the French state, economy and society and the author concludes his study by evalutating the extent of France's recovery under Henry IV.For this the Second Edition the author has taken the opportunity to rewrite the core chapter on the Massacre of St Bartholomew in the light of the latest research.
He has also improved the structure of the book and updated the bibliography. As ever the main text is supported by a full glossary of terms, maps and three detailed genealogical tables.R. J. Knecht is Emeritus Professor of French history, University of Birmingham.Cover: The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Day, 24 August 1572 by Fran?ois Dubois. Reproduced courtesy of E T Archives/Museum of Fine Arts, Lausanne.