From Valois to Bourbon: Dynasty, State and Society in Early Modern France

From Valois to Bourbon: Dynasty, State and Society in Early Modern France

From Valois to Bourbon: Dynasty, State and Society in Early Modern France

From Valois to Bourbon: Dynasty, State and Society in Early Modern France

Synopsis

In August 1589 Henri III, the last of the Valois Kings of France, was assassinated by a Dominican monk, Jacques Clement. This ill-fated and much maligned son of Henri II and Cather de Medici was succeeded by the first of the Bourbons, Henri IV and King of Navarre.

This collection of studies by international experts in the field examines fresh evidence and casts new light upon the interpretation of the character and politics of the last of the Valois and Henri IV and the Bourbon dynasty.

This book is valuable for all those who take an interest in French history whether they be students, academics or general readers.

Excerpt

Keith Cameron

The transition from the ruling dynasty of the Valois to that of the Bourbons was marked by regicide, civil and bloody war, and religious controversy. Henri iii, catholic king of France, was assassinated by a Dominican Friar, Jacques Clément, at Saint Cloud on 1 August 1589. His chosen successor, the Protestant Henri de Navarre, was unacceptable to those who supported the Guises, the Holy League and their chosen successor, the Cardinal de Bourbon, the presumptive Charles X. Even after the early death of Charles de Bourbon, there was fierce fighting throughout the kingdom between the League and the forces of Henri iv. Eventually, peace was restored in 1593, when Henri abjured the Protestant faith, became a catholic and entered Paris to claim his capital and to seek his crown at Saint Denis in 1594.

The distortion of popular history has left us with the images of an effeminate Henri iii and a very virile Henri iv. There can be no doubt that they were of different temperament, no doubt that they had different styles of government. in the sixteenth century, in spite and sometimes because of the growth of an administrative structure, the king still had ultimate theoretical control and his temperament was directly linked with his ability to govern. the personality of the dynast mattered. Did the character . . .

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