Martyrs and Murderers: The Guise Family and the Making of Europe

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Hailed as "entertaining" and "nuanced" by The Economist, Martyrs and Murderers tells the story of three generations of treacherous, bloodthirsty power-brokers. One of the richest and most powerful families in sixteenth-century France, the House of Guise played a pivotal role in the history of Europe. Among the staunchest opponents of the Reformation, they whipped up religious bigotry throughout France. They overthrew the king, ruled Scotland for nearly 20 years through Mary Queen of Scots, plotted to invade England and overthrow Elizabeth I, and ended the century by unleashing the bloody Wars of Religion, before succumbing in a counter-revolution that made them martyrs for the Catholic cause. The history of the Guise family is sensational but true. Though parts of the story are familiar--such as their crucial role in the murder of 4,000 Protestants in the infamous Massacre of Saint Bartholomew--the full scope of their influence has never before been told. Stuart Carroll unravels the legends about this cultivated, charismatic, and violent dynasty, and challenges traditional assumptions about one of Europe's most turbulent eras.

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About the Author:


Stuart Carroll is Professor of History at the University of York.

Review:


"[A] nuanced view of a dynasty legendary for its bloody and treacherous defense of Catholicism.... This thoughtful, comprehensive, and well-written volume will appeal to those interested in European history...."--Library Journal


"[An] entertaining look at France's Guise family ... nuanced."--Economist


"A very entertaining read and another angle to the political intrigue of Europe's royal families centuries ago, Martyrs and Murderers is a fine and excellent pick."--Midwest Book Review


"Carroll not only tells this tale in lively fashion, he helps us understand how things all turned out as they did. He provides maps for those of us who are less than conversant with Renaissance French geography, and genealogical tables for those of us who keep getting confused about who is related in what way to whom."--National Catholic Reporter


"Carroll states that he thought he had finished with the Guises after publishing
his earlier work on the family, but his editor persuaded him to write
this one. Historians of sixteenth-century France must applaud his editor.There
is more to be said about the Guises, especially those of the first and third generations,
but this book is not likely to be supplanted anytime soon."--The Catholic Historical Review


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9780199229079: Martyrs and Murderers: The Guise Family and the Making of Europe

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ISBN 10:  0199229074 ISBN 13:  9780199229079
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2009
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