Martyrs and Murderers: The Guise Family and the Making of Europe
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Martyrs and Murderers: The Guise Family and the Making of Europe

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  29 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Hailed as "entertaining" and "nuanced" by The Economist, Martyrs and Murderers tells the story of three generations of treacherous, bloodthirsty power-brokers. One of the richest and most powerful families in sixteenth-century France, the House of Guise played a pivotal role in the history of Europe. Among the staunchest opponents of the Reformation, they whipped up religi...more
Hardcover, 345 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published September 3rd 2009)
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Margaret Sankey
The title is ironic for this ""it's not that simple"" reappraisal of the Guide-Lorraine family. Instead of the great Whig portrayal of them as villains in the French Wars of Religion, they were typical very successful dynastic builders of traditional religion who placed themselves in the middle of sixteenth century politics for the usual prize--money and maybe the French crown. But the Wars of Religion were about more than religion--the Guises were faced with clients who were far more fanatical...more
Emmanuel Gustin
The legend of the Guise family portrays them as ultra-Catholic radicals who stoked the civil war in France. Stuart Carroll goes a long way to modify this image. The Guise family certainly wielded major power through the church, as several generations of younger sons became cardinals who acquired an enormous income through the collection of numerous benefices, a practice frowned on by the reformation and counter-reformation alike. But despite that, many Guises were moderate in their religious pra...more
Lyall Dawson
For a person raised with a British view of history, it is fascinating to discover that just as various English monarchs felt they had a claim to the French crown, so some French felt they had had a claim on the English crown.
This book has very nicely completed the back story on a number of people who were minor characters in other books I have read.
I was disappointed with this; the Guise are very fascinating and I learned quite a bit but it was work to make it through the book..
Melisende d'Outremer
A very detailed account of the Guise and their role in the political and religious scene in French history.
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