The Rise and Fall of Renaissance France by R.J. Knecht

This book was BORING. But it was not entirely without merit. It educated me considerably on the degree to which religious strife has played a role in the history of France. One tends to think of France as a thoroughly Catholic country, but there was once a flourishing Protestant movement. It is tantalizing to speculate how France might have evolved if the Huguenots had not been stamped out root and branch; perhaps she would have thrived and prospered the way other Protestant countries have thrived and prospered. This seemed possible with the accession of Henry IV, but he paid a heavy price for his religious tolerance. My eyes were glazed over throughout most of this volume, but here and there there were some interesting bits of information. Not a book I would recommend to those with weak stomachs or short attention spans.

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