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Hero or Tyrant? Henry III, King of France, 1574-89


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Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Childhood; Years of apprenticeship; Catholic hero; The siege of La Rochelle; King of Poland; Homeward bound; King of France; Henry III, the man; The king's peace; A tiresome brother; The court of Henry III; The Archimignons; The Catholic League; Annus horribilis: 1588; Paris in revolt; Nemesis; Conclusion; Bibliography; Glossary; Index.

About the Author

Robert Jean Knecht is Emeritus Professor of French History at the University of Birmingham. A former Chairman of the Society of Renaissance Studies and of the Society for the Study of French History, he is the author of several works on sixteenth and seventeenth century France, including, Richelieu (1991), Renaissance Warrior and Patron: the Reign of Francis I (1994), Catherine de' Medici (1998), The French Civil Wars (2000), The Rise and Fall of Renaissance France (revised edn. 2001), The Valois (2004) and The French Renaissance Court (London & New Haven, 2008).


A Yankee Book Peddler US Core Title for 2014 Classified as 'Research Essential' by Baker & Taylor YBP Library Services 'This book, the first English-language biography of Henry III (b. 1551, r. 1574-1589) in 150 years, is a balanced assessment of the man who was probably the French king most reviled by his contemporaries and historians ... Well-written and persuasive ... Highly recommended. Most suitable for graduate students and researchers.' Choice 'Robert Knecht's biography is exceptionally well-written as well as an en-gaging and fascinating read. In concluding his work with the legacy of the Valois king as well as making comparisons between Henry's style of monar-chy with that of his heir, Henry IV, Knecht is able to re-evaluate Henry III's reputation as a bad king and a tyrant, to offer a more complex and complete portrayal of the Valois king. The life and reign of Henry III of France can-not be fully understood without recourse to all the details, accounts and nu-ances provided by this biography.' Royal Studies Journal 'The avowed aim of Professor Knecht's book ... is to present to English-speaking readers a new biography of this fascinating ruler, taking into account the more specialized research that has shaped historians' understanding of the period and the man. ... This is a political biography in the classic style.' H-France 'For those seeking to acquaint themselves with Henry and his reign, Knecht's biography provides a detailed, comprehensive and well-balanced introduction. Non-academic readers will also find much to enjoy. The narrative of Henry's life and reign is interspersed with anecdotes from court life and detail descriptions of the many theatrical displays put on in Henry's honour. This makes it an enjoyable as well as informative read.' French History 'Robert Knecht's thoughtful and up-to-date study is very welcome.' Renaissance Quarterly 'Knecht's study comes at an opportune moment. The edition of the king's substantial correspondence (collected and transcribed over half a century ago by Pierre Champion) is nearing completion, and a clutch of magisterial studies over the past decade have illuminated the king's administration, court and entourage. Knecht's reflection of these studies establishes a more coherent picture of the last Valois and his reign, whose decor the excellent illustrations to this volume bring to light.' English Historical Review 'Not only has Robert J. Knecht written the first biography of Henry in English since 1858, but he has also made an excellent contribution to international understanding of the king. He takes account both of original sources and of recent scholarship to provide a fair and understanding portrait.' French Studies

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