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The Valois: Kings of France 1328-1589 by Robert Knecht. The house of Valois ruled France for 250 years, playing a crucial role in its establishment as a major European power.
French Renaissance Monarchy: Francis I & Henry II by R. J. Knecht. A short account of one of the most colouful and formative periods of French history.
Queens and Mistresses of Renaissance France by Kathleen Wellman. Tells the history of the French Renaissance through the lives of prominent women, beginning in 1444 with Agnès Sorel, the first officially recognized royal mistress, and concluding with Gabrielle d'Estrées, Henry IV's powerful mistress during the 1590s.
Queen's Mate: Three Women of Power in France on the Eve of the Renaissance by Pauline Matarasso is about Anne of France, daughter of French king Louis XI; Anne of Brittany, wife of Charles VIII and Louis XII; and Louise of Savoy, mother of King Francis I.
The Queen's Library by Cynthia J. Brown. Female empowerment and book production in the court of Anne of Brittany, 1477-1514.
The Hundred Years War: The English in France 1337-1453 by Desmond Seward. Brings to life the intrigues, heroics, and royal to-the-death fighting of the legendary conflict.
The Hundred Years War: Trial by Battle by Jonathan Sumption. The author treats England and France as if they were a single community engaged in civil war. This is the first book in a series; the other books are Trial by Fire, Divided Houses, and Cursed Kings.
The Captivity of John II, 1356-60: The Royal Image in Later Medieval England and France by Neil Murphy. Analyzes the display of royal power during French king Jean II's four years in English captivity during the Hundred Years War.
The Flower of Chivalry: Bertrand du Guesclin and the Hundred Years War by Richard Vernier. A poor Breton squire, Du Geusclin became a knight, fought from Normandy to Andalusia, was taken captive, and was finally victorious over such famed adversaries as the Black Prince. He won a dukedom in Spain. His body was laid to rest among kings in the royal basilica of Saint-Denis.
French Armies of the Hundred Years War: 1328-1429 by David Nicolle. A look at the uniforms, equipment, and history of the war from the Osprey Men-at-Arms series.
Henry V and the Conquest of France 1416-53 by Paul Knight and Mike Chappell is a military history of English king Henry V's three-year campaign against France's Charles VI.
The Life and Afterlife of Isabeau of Bavaria by Tracy Adams. During her lifetime, Isabeau, the long-suffering wife of mad King Charles VI of France, was respected and revered. After her death she was reviled as an incompetent regent, depraved adulteress, and betrayer of the throne.
Blood Royal: A True Tale of Crime and Detection in Medieval Paris by Eric Jager. In 1407, Louis of Orléans, brother of French king Charles VI, was murdered in Paris by a band of masked men. The crime was investigated by Guillaume de Tignonville, the city's chief law enforcement officer -- and one of history's first detectives.
Joan of Arc: Her Story by Regine Pernoud and Marie-Veronique Clin, translated by Jeremy Duquesnay Adams. Biography of the peasant girl who led an army against the English and placed Charles VII on the French throne. The authors make extensive use of contemporary documents that bring to life the turbulent political scene in which Joan operated as well as her forceful personality. (Review © Amazon.com)
Joan of Arc: The Warrior Saint by Stephen W. Richey. Drawing on eyewitness accounts, this book analyzes Joan's military career.
Joan of Arc by Mary Gordon. A brief biography.
Joan of Arc: In Her Own Words translated by Willard R. Trask. An autobiography compiled from transcripts of Joan's trials.
The Maid and the Queen: The Secret History of Joan of Arc by Nancy Goldstone. The untold story of one of the most powerful women of the Middle Ages, Yolande of Aragon, queen of Sicily, who championed Joan of Arc.
Beyond the Myth: The Story of Joan of Arc by Polly Schoyer Brooks. A biography for young adult readers.
Joan of Arc in Fiction
The King's Women by Deryn Lake. This novel tells the story of King Charles VII of France and the women who inspired and loved him.
The Maid: A Novel of Joan of Arc by Kimberly Cutter. About the 15th century French peasant girl who led an army, crowned a king, and became a legend.
Joan of Arc by Mark Twain. Great American author Twain spent 12 years researching this novel, and considered it his best work.
The Spider King by Lawrence Schoonover. Novel about 15th century French king Louis XI, first published in 1954. Hated by his father, young Louis is a resolute dreamer who sees the nation's way to greatness.
The Anatomist, the Barber-Surgeon, and the King by Seymour I. Schwartz. How the accidental death of Henry II of France in 1559 changed the world.
The Rival Queens by Nancy Goldstone. French queen Catherine de' Medici, her daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the betrayal that ignited a kingdom.
The Serpent and the Moon: Two Rivals for the Love of a Renaissance King by Princess Michael of Kent. About French king Henri II. The author is the wife of Britain's Prince Michael of Kent.
Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France by Leonie Frieda. Poisoner, despot, necromancer: the stain on the name of Catherine de Medici is centuries old. This critically hailed biography reveals the unjustly maligned queen as a skilled ruler battling against extraordinary odds.
Catherine de'Medici by R. J. Knecht. Explains the immensely complex events surrounding Catherine's life. As regent and queen-mother, she faced impossible odds and was drawn into the violence of her times.
Madame Serpent by Jean Plaidy. First published in 1951, this novel tells the story of young Catherine de' Medici. After reluctantly marrying the second son of the King of France, she becomes consumed by a ruthless ambition. Followed by two sequels, The Italian Woman and Queen Jezebel.
Courtesan: A Novel by Diane Haeger. At King François I's bawdy court, widow Diane de Poitiers becomes involved in one of the most legendary romances in French history.
The Devil's Queen: A Novel of Catherine de Medici by Jeanne Kalogridis. Married to a handsome prince of France but overshadowed by his mistress, Catherine resorts to sorcery to win her husband's love and keep her sons on the throne.
The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C.W. Gortner. To some she was the ruthless queen who led France into savage violence. To others she was the savior of the monarchy. This novel brings Catherine to life in her own voice as her determination to protect her family's throne plunges her into a lethal struggle for power.
About Catherine De Medici by Honore De Balzac. Fiction by a great 19th century novelist.
Catherine de' Medici: "The Black Queen" by Janie Havemeyer, illustrations by Peter Malone. Anxious to secure the power of her family, 15th century French queen Catherine became the target of rumors about poisoning and dabbling in dark arts. From the Thinking Girl's Treasury of Dastardly Dames series for ages 9 and up.
Catherine De Medici: The Power Behind the French Throne by Barbara A. Somervill. Biography for children ages 9 to 12.
Duchessina: A Novel of Catherine de' Medici by Carolyn Meyer. Fiction for young adult readers. Engaged to a boy who is cold and aloof, young Catherine needs all the cunning she can muster to become one of France's most powerful queens.
Francis I: The Maker of Modern France by Leonie Frieda. A biography of the 16th century monarch who turned France into a great nation. A man of grand passions, he was also a flawed husband, father, and king.
Representations of Renaissance Monarchy: Francis I and the Image-Makers by Lisa Mansfield. Analyzes portraits and imagery of French king Francis I, one of the most frequently portrayed rulers of 16th-century Europe.
The Court and Reign of Francis the First, King of France: 2 Volume Set by Julia Pardoe. This work, first published in 1849, attempts to remove the myths surrounding King Francis I.
To Serve a King by Donna Russo Morin. Fiction. A young woman enters the 16th century court of French king Francis I to spy for England's King Henry VIII.
Hero or Tyrant? Henry III, King of France, 1574-89 by Robert J. Knecht. This biography follows Henry's upbringing as the Wars of Religion began to tear France apart, his election as king of Poland in 1573, and his assumption of the French crown a year later.
Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois by Margeurite de Valois. Born in 1553, Margaret of Valois (also known as Queen Margot) was the daughter of French king Henry II. She married King Henry IV but became estranged from him and led her own scandalous personal life.
Queen Margot in Fiction
Hostage Queen by Freda Lightfoot. Novel about 15th century French queen Marguerite de Valois, who was held hostage by her own family.
La Reine Margot by Alexandre Dumas. Novel about Margaret of Valois.
Médicis Daughter: A Novel of Marguerite de Valois by Sophie Perinot. Beautiful young Princess Margot is summoned to the court of France as a marriage pawn. There she learns the rules she must live by to please her poisonous family.
Queen Margot: The Age of Innocence by Derenne. A graphic novel (comic book) set in 16th century France.
Queen Margot: The Bloody Wedding by Derenne. Graphic novel about the 16th century queen of France and Navarre.
(Scroll down to the Video section for a movie about Queen Margot.)
These DVDs are formatted for North American audiences.
Queen Margot starring Isabelle Adjani. A 1995 movie based on the Alexandre Dumas novel about the wife of Henry IV of France, who went to war against her husband and her brother, Henry III.