Beneath the Cross: Catholics and Huguenots in Sixteenth-Century Paris

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9780195065541: Beneath the Cross: Catholics and Huguenots in Sixteenth-Century Paris
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The religious conflicts of sixteenth-century France, particularly the St. Bartholomew's Day massacres of 1572, continue to draw a good deal of attention from historians. What started as a limited coup against the Huguenot leadership became instead a conflagration that left two thousand or more Protestants dead in the streets and ushered in a series of bloody religious battles. Until now, however, historians have been preoccupied with the political aspects of the conflicts, and histories have focused on the roles of the king and high noblemen in the assassinations that sparked the massacres, rather than the mass violence. In this compelling and unique study, Diefendorf closely examines popular religious fanaticism and religious hatred. She focuses on the roots and escalation of the conflicts, the propaganda of Catholic and Protestant preachers, popular religious beliefs and rituals, the role of the militia, and the underground activities of the Protestant community after the massacres. Drawing on a wide array of published and unpublished sources, Beneath the Cross is the most comprehensive social history to date of these religious conflicts.

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About the Author:

Barbara B. Diefendorf is at Boston University.

Review:

"[T]his work immediately takes its place as the richest, most detailed study of the course of events within a single city during the early phases of the Wars of Religion....Diefendorf has explored to a particularly good narrative effect the unusually rich store of memoirs, journals, and
letters available about Paris....[This] is the first book to which students now ought to be referred if they want to understand the causes and nature of religious violence in the years leading up to those fateful days."--Archive for Reformation History

"The wider importance of the study lies in the conclusion that had it not been for the fierce Catholicism of the people of Paris, the Wars of Religion--so-called--would have taken a different course....The book adds a new dimension without claiming to supersede others."--The English Historical
Review

"Diefendorf has taken a step both bold and necessary in conducting and publishing serious research into confessional hatred and violence...This sensitive book broadens our understanding of a troubling subject; but it raises a host of comparative questions which need to be equally sensitively
addressed."--French History

"Combines careful documentation and rigorous analysis with a style of presentation that marks its author as a master storyteller....Embodies a rare combination of exacting scholarship nand compelling narrative."--Religious Studies Review

"A brilliant, original interpretation of the French Religious Wars that should be required reading for all historians of sixteenth-century France....Bound to provide fresh ideas and material for future debate."--Sixteenth Century Journal

"Wonderful book--the clearest and most persuasive that has been written on the massacre of St. Bartholomew's Night in Paris and its prelude. Barbara Diefendorf's scholarship is impeccable. She takes proper account of popular religious passions, while placing them in their social and
political context."--J.H.M. Salmon, Bryn Mawr College

"Wonderful addition to the historiography on the French wars. It holds one's attention throughout."--Joan L. Coffey, Sam Houston State University "Very interesting book. I like her fresh approach to the religious and political crises of France from 1559 to 1572. Her understanding of
religious feeling and emotion as causation factors in historical crisis and change is a good antidote to economic determinism."--Col. James S. Wheeler, United States Military Academy

"Well-argued and engagingly written scholarly account of events that reached a crisis in the infamous massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day. This is a valuable work in itself as well as a model of good historical thinking drawing on the best techniques of the profession."--John M. Hirschfeld, St.
Mary's College of Maryland

"An excellent, well-balanced approach. The narrative and analytical work well together."--Stephen Varvis, esno Pacific College

"For some time I have been looking for a book to use in my Reformation Europe course that combines attention to Roman Catholics and second- or third-generation Protestantism with a full deployment of the 'new' social history. The deeply researched and plausibly argued book by Professor
Diefendorf may just be that book....A very fine piece of historical writing."--Mark Noll, Wheaton College

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9780195070132: Beneath the Cross: Catholics and Huguenots in Sixteenth-Century Paris

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Publisher: Oxford University Press, 1991
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