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Online exhibit of the French Religious Wars from the French National Archives

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While rooting around the French National Archives, I found an exhibit featuring documents relating to the French Wars of Religion, which stretched throughout the Renaissance.  If your French isn’t so good, don’t worry- it’s pretty much self-explanatory.  What’s really amazing here are the scans of letters sent between members of the French royal court during the 16th century.

This was my first opportunity to see a letter written from Catherine de Medici to Henri III in person, but it’s likely that it’s written in her secretary’s hand.  But really, who cares?  It’s a part of history, and thanks to modern technology you can view it at home, in your bunny slippers.

It’s well worth your time to click around the website.  The most public pages are translated into English, but as you go further into the guts of the website, the content is only in French.  That’s due to practical concerns, since it takes an enormous amount of manpower to translate everything into another language.  The other reason is that the archives staff assume that a researcher looking for a particular document will already have a reading knowledge of French and can search the collections herself.

Happy researching!

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