You are not currently logged in. Please create an account or log in to view the full course.

The Tudors – Elizabeth I and France, 1558-88

3. Marriage Negotiations with France – Part II, 1571-81

This is the course trailer. Please create an account or log in to view this lecture.

  • Description
  • Cite

About this Lecture


In this module, we think about another round of marriage negotiations between France and England that took place in the period 1571-81, focus in particular on: (i) the figure of Francis, Duke of Alençon and (after 1576) Duke of Anjou; (ii) the importance of the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in highlighting the religious tensions in France; (iii) the role of Catherine de’ Medici in pushing the marriage between Elizabeth and Francis; (iv) Elizabeth’s concerns about Francis’ Catholicism, and a potential solution; (vi) her concerns about what Francis looked like; (vii) Francis’ visit to England in 1579 and 1581; (viii) the importance of Stubbs’ pamphlet in highlighting anti-Catholic sentiment in England; (ix) France’s irritation at Elizabeth’s continued refusal to commit; (x) Elizabeth’s wariness of a Catholic ‘fifth column’ in England, and the precariousness of her own position; (xi) English Catholics’ wariness of how an Anglo-French alliance might alienate (Catholic) Spain; and (xii) the question of whether Elizabeth actually loved Francis, even if she did not end up marrying him.


In this course, Dr Estelle Paranque (New College of the Humanities) explores the reign of Elizabeth I through the eyes of the French monarchy. In the first module, we think about the French perception of Elizabeth at the very beginning of her reign, before turning into the second and third modules to explore the various marriage negotiations that took place between France and England in the period 1564-81. In the fourth module, we think about the relationship between Elizabeth I and Catherine de’ Medici, before turning in the fifth module to explore the unexpected friendship that arose between Elizabeth and Henry III of France. Finally, in the sixth module, we explore French perceptions of Elizabeth’s support for Protestants on the Continent, and the extent to which this undermined relations with the (Catholic) French monarchy.


Dr Estelle Paranque is Lecturer in Early Modern History at the New College of the Humanities in London. The main focus of her research is Elizabeth I and her relations with France, though she also has a more general interest in Anglo-French relations during the sixteenth century, monarchical representations in Europe, and the Valois kings. Her most recent book, Elizabeth I of England Through Valois Eyes: Power, Representation and Diplomacy in the Reign of the Queen, 1558-1588 (2019) focuses on the perception of Elizabeth I of England by the French royal family and their ambassadors from 1568 to 1588.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Paranque, E. (2021, February 08). The Tudors – Elizabeth I and France, 1558-88 - Marriage Negotiations with France – Part II, 1571-81 [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Paranque, E. "The Tudors – Elizabeth I and France, 1558-88 – Marriage Negotiations with France – Part II, 1571-81." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 08 Feb 2021,