Portraits from the French Renaissance and the Wars of Religion

By (author) André Thevet Edited by Roger Schlesinger Translated by Edward Benson

Paperback - £31.95

Publication date:

01 November 2009

Length of book:

248 pages


Truman State University Press

ISBN-13: 9781931112987

Available for the first time in English, these thirteen selections from André 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.

“Benson and Schlesinger’s book offers a richness on many levels. There is a broad historical survey to introduce Thevet and his portraits in their historical context. Benson provides a translator’s introduction before each entry. There are also a long bibliography and suggestions for further reading. This work will be a help to students and to all English-speaking readers who desire a deeper experience of early modern French texts.”

Sixteenth Century Journal