Synopses & Reviews
Both the golden age of the Renaissance state and the catastrophic era of the Wars of Religion, this fascinating period in French history has been oddly neglected by English-language historians. Professor Baumgartner's book fills a major gap in the textbook market: an accessible, fully current account which covers the principal political, economic and cultural themes from Francois I's successful centralization of the state, through France's near prostration under the Catholic-Huguenot civil war, and ending with the accession of Henri IV.
Was France in the sixteenth century as beautiful as Fernand Braudel has described it? Or was it actually a century of "blood and iron" as Henry Hiller saw it? The truth is that the history of France in the sixteenth century embodies both of these interpretations. The glories of the French Renaissance, the great prosperity of the early decades, and the conquest of Calais and the Three Bishoprics of Lorraine all existed in counterpoint to the Italian wars, the wars with the Habsburgs, the French Wars of Religion, and the severe economic depression of the last decades of the era. France in the Sixteenth Century is certain to become an indispensable classic for scholars and students of French history.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -346) and index.
Table of Contents
Introduction - The Monarchy Ascending 1484-1547 - The Church Unchallenged - A Contented Nobility - A Prosperous Third Estate - The Springtime of the French Renaissance - The Monarchy Under Attack 1547-1589 - The Church Challenged - The Nobility in Disarray - A Rebellious Third Estate - The Renaissance in Maturity - The Monarchy Restroed 1589-1614 - The Church Victorious - The Nobility Tamed - The Third Estate in Retreat - The End of the Renaissance - Conclusions