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The Edict of Nantes of 1598 is traditionally celebrated as an enlightened act of religious toleration ending the long and bloody conflict of the French religious wars. It is often forgotten, however, that it was preceded by a series of increasingly elaborate royal edicts which sought to pacify the country and to reconcile Protestant and Catholic. This book provides the first comprehensive overview of the process of peacemaking to cover the whole period of the wars throughout the French kingdom. It re-examines the sometimes fraught relationship between the crown and its subjects: the nobility, regional authorities, and urban communities, as well as confessional groups dissatisfied with royal policy. Through a wide-ranging and close analysis of archival sources, it re-evaluates both the role of royal authority and of local agency in the peace process, and provides a new perspective on the political, religious, social and cultural history of the conflict.

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