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The French Wars of Religion, 1562-98

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Professor Penny Roberts (University of Warwick) explores the French Wars of Religion (1562-98). The course begins by exploring the interplay of religion and politics in the period, and thinking about the extent to which the French Wars of Religion were really about religion at all, as opposed to other, underlying tensions. After that, we turn to the French monarchy which some historians have seen as undergoing a collapse of authority in this period. In the third module, we turn our focus to one of the most important individuals of the period, Catherine de Medici, before considering the role of religious violence and political assassinations in the fourth and fifth modules. In the final module, we think about the peace-making efforts of the period, focusing in particular on the Edict of Nantes, which was signed in 1598.

About the Lecturer

Penny Roberts is Professor in History and Director of the Centre for Arts Doctoral Research Excellence (CADRE) at the University of Warwick. Her principal area of interest is the social, religious, cultural and political history of sixteenth-century France, especially its wars of religion (c.1562-1598). Having begun with a study of the impact of the wars in the town of Troyes, her research has broadened to include the whole of urban France, covering such diverse topics as petitioning, fires, popular revolts, and the conflicts arising over the siting of Reformed worship and burial. Her most recent book focuses on the attempts to establish some kind of 'peace process' during the wars and the impact of this on confessional relations and royal authority. Her new research project explores the clandestine world of Huguenot correspondence, espionage and information-gathering.