Revocation of the Edict of Nantes

The background research I’m doing for my second book, provisionally called Gédéon, has proved fascinating. I hope to share some gleanings here in the next months.

Portrait Of A Young Boy With A Dog by Philip Mercier

Sixteen years old when the book starts, Gédéon is the oldest child in his family. His sister Madeleine is 12 and little Rachel 9. They live in Normandy and all of them are Huguenots.

The main events of the story take place in 1685-86.

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Esther and Athaliah, two plays adapted from those of Jean Racine by Richard Bunning

As a tame introduction to the work of Jean Racine, this adaptation is most helpful, presenting the plays in abridged form and in contemporary English. Unfortunately, they thereby lose some of their claim to fame as “masterpieces of one of the greatest literary artists known”.

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The Refugees: A Tale of Two Continents, by Arthur Conan Doyle

Two exciting stories in one book. Conan Doyle has diligently researched events and conditions both in Versailles and in French-Canadian North America, and developed two superbly written tales linked by the person of Amory De Catinat, a half-hearted young Huguenot serving as a personal guard of King Louis XIV.

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Psaumes interdits by Marjolaine Chevallier

This is a very well-crafted story of an extended family of Huguenots caught up in the frenzied and irrational persecution under King Louis XIV after he revoked the Edict of Nantes in 1685. It is based on a true incident, in which smuggled documents from sympathisers in Holland are salvaged from a shipwreck near Rochefort on the west coast of France.

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Incendium by A. D. Swanston

Gripping from beginning to end, we follow the tense developments of the Papist struggle to overpower the Huguenots in France and reclaim the English crown from Protestant sympathiser Queen Elizabeth I in the late 16th century.

Lawyer Christopher Radcliff finds his life threatened when he is sent by his patron, Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester, on a secret mission to Paris at the height of the religious conflict, then makes use of dubious intelligencers to investigate rumours of a massive plot in London, involving murder, torture and executions.

Swanston has developed the historical scene very well, as also the key characters.

True to Her Faith by Harriet Gabourel

4 stars The subtitle of this book – A Story of France in the Time of the Huguenotscaught my attention, as some of my ancestors in Jersey were forced to flee France during the persecution after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685.

The book is beautifully and vividly written, both as regards descriptions of the rural scenery and depictions of the convictions and tortured emotions of the main players. It contains a wealth of information about the sufferings of the Huguenots under the obsessive and paranoid King Louis XIV. Continue reading “True to Her Faith by Harriet Gabourel”