Reasons and identities to remember: composing personal accounts of religious violence in sixteenth-century France

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In recent years, there has been renewed analysis of the often extreme confessional violence of sixteenth-century France. It was a distressing period in which many experienced or witnessed violent events, from massacres to desecration of deeply meaningful religious objects. Some were able, by their abilities and opportunities, to commit their memories of these horrific events to paper, producing a wide variety of texts for contemporary and future audiences. To date, printed histories and literary and visual genres have dominated scholarly analysis of accounts of sixteenth-century violence. This article analyses a series of personal accounts of the violence which also documented these times, seeking to understand the contexts in which they were produced and the identities that both presented and were created through them. The article argues that such accounts are an important additional source to understanding how individuals reconciled memories of violence in their own lives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
JournalFrench History
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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