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January 19, 2012
9781421405780
English
516
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Henri IV of France

His Reign and Age

Vincent J. Pitts chronicles the life and times of one of France's most remarkable kings in the first English-language biography of Henri IV to be published in twenty-five years. An unwelcome heir to the throne, Henri ruled over a kingdom plagued by religious civil war and political and economic instability. By the end of his reign in 1610 he had pacified his warring country, restored its prosperity, and reclaimed France's place as a leading power in Europe. Pitts draws upon the rich scholarship of recent decades to tell the captivating story of this pivotal French king.

From boyhood, Henri was destined to be leader and protector of the Huguenot movement in France. He served as chief of the Calvinist party and fought for the Huguenot forces in the bloody Wars of Religion before an extraordinary sequence of dynastic mishaps left the Protestant warlord next in line for the French crown. Henri was forced to renounce his faith in support of his claim to the Catholic throne and to unite his deeply divided country. A master of political maneuvering, Henri restored order to a country in the throes of great religious, political, and economic upheaval. He was assassinated in 1610 by a Catholic zealot.

Vincent Pitts expertly recounts this history and skillfully untangles its complex set of personalities and events. Pitts engages the vast amount of literature relating to the king himself as well as the large body of recent scholarship on France during this time. The result is a fascinating biography of a French king and a comprehensive history of sixteenth-century France.

About the Author

Vincent J. Pitts has taught at Quinnipiac University and at Southern Connecticut State University. He is the author of La Grande Mademoiselle at the Court of France, 1627–1693, also published by Johns Hopkins, and The Man Who Sacked Rome: Charles de Bourbon, Constable of France, 1490–1527.Histoire Sociale - Social History

Reviews

"Through Henri the complex and chaotic religious wars come into focus. For this reason, and for the biography's engagement with the most up-to-date scholarship on this period, I would highly recommend this book for any scholar or student seeking an entry into not only Henri and his reign but the wider field of sixteenth and early seventeenth century France."—H-France

"An excellent, well-researched study of one of France's greatest kings . . . This book is an ambitious and scholarly work as well as an engaging one to read."—Camille Weiss , Renaissance Quarterly

"Pitts succeeds admirably in his newest book, Henri IV of France: His Reign and Age, the first scholarly English-language biography in twenty-five years of Henri de Bourbon, who was both Henri III of Navarre and Henri IV of France . . . Johns Hopkins Press is to be commended for supporting the level of scholarly documentation provided in this book—a hundred pages of endnotes, and a thirty-page bibliography—that will be of use to anyone studying the era."—Christopher H. Walker, Journal of Historical Biography

"A handsome work, an interesting text ably supported by extensive footnotes, at what is a reasonable price for a hardback."—Journal of European Studies

"If you are addicted to biographies as I am, you will not want to miss this one."—Bibliotheque d'Humanisme et Renaissance

"Pitts has done a magnificent job producing a biography—and a portrait—of Henri IV that is at once complicated and coherent."—Andrea Frisch, European History Quarterly

"The best biography of Henry IV in English and likely to remain so for many years to come . . . The wealth of detail and explanation—not only about the life of the king, but also about dynastic and international politics—makes this book indispensable reading."—John J. Hurt, History: Reviews of NewBooks

"A great introduction to the subject for both the general reader passionate about this period of history, but also undergraduates new to the period, and indeed historians who specialize in other periods but would like a detailed, reliable, and well written resource for the reign of this important monarch."—Jonathan Spangler, French History

"Meticulously researched and elegantly written . . . explore[s] the strengths and flaws in the king's character which may provide the general reader and the student of history alike with a better and deeper understanding of the challenges he faced and his responses to them during a turbulent age."—Penny Roberts, Histoire Sociale - Social History

"A clear and lively narrative of the life, reign, and historical context of the first Bourbon king of France . . . Pitts offers an excellent account of the king's many challenges and achievements."—Diane C. Margolf, Reviews of Books

"This is clearly a work of love and industry both, rich in detail and clear in its overview."—Bibliotheque d'Humanisme et Renaissance

"Marvelously weaves together the myriad influences that shaped the complex course of Henri's life and the tumultuous age in which he lived. Henri almost leaps off the page in Mr. Pitts' evocative prose."—Michael Wolfe, St. John's University

The Johns Hopkins University Press

9781421405780 : henri-iv-of-france-pitts
Paperback / softback
516 Pages
$42.95 USD
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516 Pages
$42.95 USD

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