Portraits from the French Renaissance and the Wars of Religion

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Truman State University Press, Nov 1, 2009 - History - 248 pages
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Available for the first time in English, these thirteen selections from Andr Thevet’s Les vrais pourtraits et vies des hommes illustres offer a glimpse of France during a time of great upheaval. Originally published in 1584, Thevet’s collection contains over two hundred biographical sketches, detailing the lives of important persons from antiquity to the sixteenth-century. Edward Benson and Roger Schlesinger have translated and annotated Thevet’s portraits of his contemporaries, and divided them into three categories: monarchs, aristocrats, and scholars. Additionally, an extensive introduction places the work in context and describes the critical attention that Thevet and his writings have received. Together these portraits provide a history of sixteenth-century France as the country underwent tremendous change: from an intellectual renaissance and its first encounter with the New World, to the Protestant Reformation and the Wars of Religion that followed. France was irrevocably altered by these events and Thevet’s account of the lives of individuals who struggled with them is indispensable.

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About the author (2009)

Edward Benson taught French and film at the universities of Rhode Island, New Mexico, Western Illinois, and Central Missouri. He retired in 2006 from the University of Connecticut.  His previous publications are Money and Magic in Montaigne and Portraits from the Age of Exploration.

Roger Schlesinger is professor emeritus at Washington State University. He has published four books: Global Passages, In the Wake of Columbus, Portraits from the Age of Exploration, and Andre Thevet’s North America.

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