The court of France in the sixteenth century has often been seen merely as a focus of political intrigue and conflict, but it was also a cultural center in which the visual arts, music, literature, and sport flourished. This book traces for the first time in English the court's evolution from a nomadic institution to a more sedentary one over the course of a century that began gloriously for France and ended in the horrors of civil war.
Robert Knecht, a renowned expert on Renaissance France, explores the political and cultural importance of the French court through seven reigns from Charles VIII to Henry III, including the tumultuous regency of Catherine de' Medici. Against a sharp precis of political events, he details the structure, daily activities, and festivals of the court. Sumptuously illustrated throughout, this is an enthralling account of an opulent and dynamic institution in which image and representation were key.
Robert Knecht is a former chair of the Society for Renaissance Studies. His previous books include Renaissance Warrior and Patron: The Reign of Francis I; Catherine de Medici; and The Rise and Fall of Renaissance France.