The Valois: Kings of France 1328-1589 Paperback – 1 Apr 2007
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"As in all of Professor Knecht's books that I have read, the prose provides an excellent balance between evidently careful scholarship and readability, sustaining the interest of all kinds of readers by combining its focus on politics and warfare with intriguing details of court life, without resorting to factual overload or to unsupported conjecture...Knecht has produced...a must-read for those wishing to know more about the rulers of late medieval and early modern France, as well as a refreshing overview for those already well-versed in the topic." -Kate Maxwell, The Sixteenth Century Journal, Fall 2008
From the Author
My book is the eventful story of one of the three royal dynasties which, over nearly three centuries, built up the kingdom of France into one of the most powerful in the western world. Building on narrow and shaky foundations, successive Valois kings had to overcome foreign aggression (the Hundred Years War) and feudal rebellions. By 1494 France had become sufficiently united and strong to seek territorial aggrandisement in Italy, where a series of military campaigns brought her into conflict with the Imperial house of Habsburg. The Valois court during the Renaissance became the most splendid in Europe attracting artists like Leonardo da Vinci. But the rise of Protestantism threatened the religious unity of the kingdom. A long series of increasingly bloody civil wars culminated in the assignation of Henry III, the last Valois king, in 1589. Yet the monarchy survived to be taken over by the Bourbons, including the Sun King, Louis XIV. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
As an emeritus professor at the University of Birmingham and a leading scholar on Early Modern France, Knecht certainly knows his stuff but he's not the liveliest of writers: this is a workmanlike narrative but it's not one marked by literary flair.
So this serves well as an introduction, summary or overview of French monarchy from the late medieval to Renaissance period, but the details will need to be filled out by more specific studies.