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The Duke of Anjou and the politique struggle during the wars of religion

by Mack P. Holt

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From the beginning of the French Wars of Religion a small minority of toleration-minded Protestants and Catholics sought out a via media to end the civil wars which were destroying France. Later called politiques by their more zealous Catholic opponents, this group turned to François de Valois, duke of Alençon and Anjou in the 1570s, to champion their cause. Youngest son of Henry II and Catherine de Medici and heir to the throne himself after 1574, Anjou was also sought out by William of Orange and a similar group of politiques in the rebel provinces of the Netherlands, where the Dutch Revolt had virtually become a civil war. Anjou never became the saviour that either group had looked for, however. This book analyses why he nevertheless became the focus of such attention, and tries to explain why he never joined the politique struggle of the later sixteenth century.… (more)
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From the beginning of the French Wars of Religion a small minority of toleration-minded Protestants and Catholics sought out a via media to end the civil wars which were destroying France. Later called politiques by their more zealous Catholic opponents, this group turned to François de Valois, duke of Alençon and Anjou in the 1570s, to champion their cause. Youngest son of Henry II and Catherine de Medici and heir to the throne himself after 1574, Anjou was also sought out by William of Orange and a similar group of politiques in the rebel provinces of the Netherlands, where the Dutch Revolt had virtually become a civil war. Anjou never became the saviour that either group had looked for, however. This book analyses why he nevertheless became the focus of such attention, and tries to explain why he never joined the politique struggle of the later sixteenth century.

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