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The Valois: Kings of France 1328-1589 Paperback – 1 Apr 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Continnuum-3PL; New Ed edition (1 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852855223
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852855222
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.6 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 632,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"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.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a good account of the dynasty and the main events in France during the time the Valois kings ruled. However, I found it a little dry - it is more or less just a chronology of what happened. It does not talk much about the personalities or motives of the kings, queens and nobles. I would prefer to have read a series of biographies of the Valois kings (although I understand this is not available in English).
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Format: Hardcover
This is a systematic `dynastic history' of the Valois kings who reigned in France for about 250 years from 1328-1589 when Henri III was assassinated and the throne passed to Henri IV, previously Henri de Navarre, the first Bourbon king.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Book gives a very good Idea of how the Valois Kingdom worked
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars frustrating but not its fault 10 Aug. 2009
By W. McArthur - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In this book, the author does exactly what he sets out to do. Unfortunately, he set out to write a short book about a very large topic - 250 years of French history. If you're looking for an overview, enjoy. If you are like me, and reading history raises questions as you go, don't expect them to be answered here.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I am intrigued 25 May 2010
By D. Plantagenet - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is a very large subject that seems to have been condensed very well. It gave me a good sense of who the Valois were and who were the key figures of France and Europe, but it left me wanting more or that there is more to each individuals story than what was included or room for. Will definitely be looking for more books about the Valoise but with more focus on an individuals.
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