Francis I

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The name of Francis I and his emblem, the salamander, are familiar to the many thousands of tourists who visit the chateaux of the Loire each year. But what sort of monarch was he? Whereas in his own day he was acclaimed as 'the great king Francis', in more recent times he has generally been taken less seriously than his exact contemporaries Henry VIII of England and the Emperor Charles V. Yet his reign was no less important than theirs. It witnessed and promoted fundamental changes in France's political structure, economy, society, religion and cultural life. The king's obsession with war stimulated constitutional change. By entailing expenditures far in excess of the crown's traditional resources, it obliged him to tap new sources of wealth, to reorganise the fiscal system and to promote administrative centralisation. Economically, Francis' reign saw the completion of the recovery that had followed the Hundred Years' War. While the land was reclaimed, the population grew, town life flourished and trade expanded.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
' … an undoubted achievement … in the breadth and comprehensibility of its narrative history, in the sensitivity of its pieces on humanism, religion and the arts particularly: but valuable throughout.' The Times Literary Supplement

' … there can be no doubt that Knecht's book is a valuable achievement. Wide-ranging and written throughout with exemplary clarity, it draws together a mass of important information and interpretation that English students of Renaissance France will find immensely serviceable.' English Historical Review

'Until Desmond Seward's Prince of the Renaissance there was no modern life in English, and until now no full-scale biography at all. The gap is superbly filled by R. J. Knecht's fresh book. Francis I is vigorous, exhaustive, and much rarer in a work of this range and scale - particularly well measured and shaped … a model of what a dense historical biography should be.' The Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521278874
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1984
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 516
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Table of Contents

List of plates; List of figures; Preface; List of abbreviations; 1. Childhood and youth; 2. King of France; 3. Marignano (1515); 4. The Concordat of Bologna; 5. The uneasy peace (1516–1520); 6. The king and his court; 7. The loss of Milan (1520–1522); 8. Penury and reform; 9. Humanism and heresy; 10. Treason; 11. Pavia (1523–1525); 12. The regency of Louise of Savoy (1525–1526); 13. The king's return (1526–1528); 14. From Cognac to Cambrai (1526–1529); 15. The hollow peace (1530–1534); 16. Domestic problems (1530–1534); 17. Patron of the arts and 'father of letters'; 18. Triumph and stalemate (1535–1537); 19. Fruitless entente (1538–1542); 20. The kingdom's wealth; 21. France overseas; 22. The crown and the provinces; 23. The last war (1542–1546); 24. Reform and resistance; 25. The growth of persecution; 26. The triumph of faction; Epilogue; Note on coinage; Manuscript sources; Select bibliography; Index.
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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted June 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A library period referral piece

    This is an outstanding book by an outstanding author that you will love. The man writes with knowledge and feeling. This book is very helpful in understanding what was going on in France at a time when France's destiny was linked with that of Henry the VIII and the continuing battles over England attempting to regain lands they had possessed in France at varying times. It exposes some of the political and cultural events around events and what the two kings did try to do to work out an amicable solution although each, in his own way, had his best interest at heart. A great book. One you will use for reference and one you will go back to to read again. You will not be disappointed. You might want to put this author on selection lists for future purchases because I do not see how it could be a bad choice.

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