• Behind the scenes

    How do I get started researching Renaissance France?

    To research a historical novel set during Renaissance France that includes actual historical figures, you can follow these steps: Identify the time period and setting: Determine the specific time period within the Renaissance era in France that your novel will be set in. This could be during the reign of a particular monarch, a significant event, or a specific location. Understanding the broader historical context will help you identify the major historical figures and events relevant to your story. Gather general background information: Begin by reading books, articles, and reputable online sources that provide an overview of the Renaissance in France. Look for information on politics, society, culture, art, literature,…

  • Behind the scenes

    Interested in writing historical fiction? Here’s a few things to consider.

    Before deciding to write a historical fiction novel, there are several factors to consider. Here are some key aspects to take into account: Research and Familiarity: Writing historical fiction requires extensive research to accurately portray the historical period, setting, and events. Consider whether you have a strong interest in the chosen time period and the willingness to invest time and effort into thorough research. Familiarity with the historical context will enhance the authenticity and credibility of your novel. Historical Accuracy: Maintaining historical accuracy is crucial in historical fiction. Reflect on your ability to accurately depict the time period, including the social, cultural, political, and economic aspects. Assess your commitment to…

  • Mistress

    Diane de Poitiers, Renaissance icon and royal speed bump

    Diane de Poitiers, a woman of elegance, intelligence, and indomitable spirit, holds a remarkable place in history as a captivating figure of the French Renaissance. As the mistress of King Henry II of France, her influence extended far beyond the realm of romance. Diane’s astute political acumen, impeccable taste, and enduring legacy make her a truly significant figure in the annals of history. A Renaissance Patroness and Style Icon Diane de Poitiers was renowned for her exceptional sense of style and refined taste. As a patroness of the arts, she played a crucial role in promoting the development of Renaissance art and architecture. She commissioned renowned artists, including Jean Goujon…

  • Medici,  Renaissance

    Which philosophers influenced a young and impressionable Catherine de Medici?

    ChatGPT thinks it knows, and the answer it spat out did NOT inspire me with confidence. *facepalm* Catherine de’ Medici, a prominent figure in Renaissance Europe, served as Queen consort of France from 1547 to 1559 and later as Queen Mother from 1559 to 1589. While it is difficult to pinpoint specific philosophers who directly influenced her leadership style, several philosophical and political ideas prevalent during her time may have shaped her approach to governance. Niccolò Machiavelli: Catherine de’ Medici lived during a period when Machiavelli’s political treatise “The Prince” was highly influential. Machiavelli advocated for the use of cunning, pragmatism, and a willingness to employ any means necessary to…

  • Huguenot

    How Francis I and Henry II hastened the Protestant cause in Renaissance France

    I’ve been reading Mack Holt’s The French Wars of Religion, and right away I’ve been struck by his argument that Francis I and Henry II were directly responsible for one of the sparks that lead to the Protestant revolution in France. He’s not arguing that it’s the only factor, but he puts both monarch’s in the hot seat for making religious reform so palatable for their subjects. In 1516, with the Concordant of Bologna Pope Leo X handed over the responsibility for appointing bishops, abbots and monasteries completely to the French king. Previously, the Pope and king shared responsibility and the process was a negotiation between the two. With personal…

  • Guise,  History,  Renaissance

    The governors of Renaissance France: networks of power and obstacles to royal

    By the time the Sixteenth Century dawned, the governors of the dozen or so regions of France had developed from an administrative necessity to an obstacle to Valois power. After coalescing from several feudal states, the French monarchy tried to instill some kind of control over the regions of the new country. The noble class, however, had long assumed that governing the provinces would be an inherited duty passed down from father to son, and a reliable way to create networks for the men and women who served under the major aristocrats of France. With the Hapsburgs controlling the land to the East and to the West and the English…

  • Renaissance

    Erasmus, an early influence on Catherine de Medici

    Erasmus of Rotterdam, a renowned Renaissance scholar, theologian, and humanist, left an indelible mark on the intellectual landscape of his time. Through his prolific writings, Erasmus challenged the prevailing social and religious norms of the era, advocating for critical thinking, education, and humanistic values. This post delves into the influential works of Erasmus, exploring their themes, significance, and enduring impact on literature and humanism. The Praise of Folly: An Examination of Human Folly One of Erasmus’s most celebrated works, “The Praise of Folly,” is a satirical treatise that critiques the follies and vices of contemporary society. Written in the form of a speech by Folly, the personification of foolishness, Erasmus…

  • Medici

    Who was Machiavelli? A short guide to the Italian author who defined a Renaissance prince

    Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) was an Italian Renaissance political philosopher, historian, and writer. He is best known for his influential work, “The Prince” (Il Principe), which is considered one of the most important treatises on political philosophy. Machiavelli served as a diplomat in the Republic of Florence during a time of political upheaval in Italy. His experiences and observations of power struggles and the behavior of political leaders greatly influenced his ideas on politics. “The Prince,” written in 1513, was intended as a guidebook for rulers, advising them on how to gain and maintain political power. In “The Prince,” Machiavelli emphasized the practical aspects of politics, focusing on strategies and techniques…

  • Behind the scenes

    Life as an author with ADHD

    Dealing with the baggage and speed bumps that come with ADHD are really hard for me sometimes. My biggest struggle is the challenge of dealing with details. This video gives another author’s perspective on writing with ADHD.