This volume brings together an international team of experts who have synthesized and summarized the most recent research on French history of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Using a topical approach to provide broad thematic coverage of the period from 1500 to 1660, each chapter focuses on a specific area of French history: politics and the state, the economy, society and culture, religion, gender and the family, and France's burgeoning overseas empire, which was constructed in this period. The book is more than a collection of topical essays, however, as each chapter is linked to the others, together forming a coherent narrative of French history from the advent of the Reformation, through the civil wars of the second half of the sixteenth century, to the Fronde. The result is the most up-to-date synthesis of this period, showing how recent scholarship has significantly revised the traditional narrative of French history.
Mack P. Holt is Professor of History at George Mason University. His work has won prizes from the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, the National Huguenot Society, and the Southern Historical Association. He has served on the editorial board of French Historical Studies, and in 1999 was the president of the Society for French Historical Studies. He has previously taught at Harvard and Vanderbilt universities.