Following the Reformation, a growing number of radical Protestants came together to live and worship in Catholic France. The Huguenots survived persecution and armed conflict to win freedom of worship, civil rights and unique status as a protected minority. In 1685, following renewed persecution, the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes abolished their remaining rights. Choosing faith over home, over 200,000 Huguenots fled across Europe and, soon, further afield. In this magnificent book, Geoffrey Treasure explores what it was like to be a Huguenot through their rise, survival and fall, from power politics to religious practice and the psychological pressures of living in a threatened 'state within a state'. Over a span of a century and a half he weaves together political and religious concerns, those of statesmen, feudal magnates and leading figures of the Catholic revival, a Catherine de Medici seeking compromise, a Louis XIV requiring unity, with the stories of ordinary citizens leading extraordinary lives.
Treasure describes the Huguenots' disciplined community, inspiring in faith and courage and rich in achievement, and illuminates their place within Protestantism and European history. Viewing their exodus as a crucial turning point for Europe, Treasure points to the immense significance of the Huguenot story for all their homelands.