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Political, Religious and Social Conflict in the States of Savoy, 1400–1700

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Edited By Sarah Alyn Stacey

Taking conflict as its collective theme, this book brings together the work of early modern specialists to offer a range of insights into the political, social and religious climate in Savoy between 1400 and 1700. The contributors focus on the broader context of early modern European history, making clear the sometimes overlooked political and historical significance of Savoy. The volume explores the diverse mechanisms whereby political, social and religious conflicts were articulated with reference to a wide range of primary sources, many of which are unpublished. The chapters offer important perspectives on subjects such as: the diplomatic relations between the court of Savoy and certain foreign powers during a time of European unrest; the role of propaganda; the construction of national and religious identities; and persecution and resistance, notably in relation to the Reformation and the Waldensians. The conclusions that are established advance a better understanding of the history of Savoy and of the broader conflicts shaping Europe in the early modern period.
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Marc-Claude de Buttet’s Apologie […] pour la Savoie (1554): Conflicting Perceptions of the 1536 French Invasion of Savoy

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The problematical question of national identity is never far from the horizon when we consider Savoyard writers prior to 1860, the year in which Savoy became ‘attached’ to France.1 If, since 1860, these writers have tended to be categorized as French and write (for the most part) in French, they nonetheless frequently assert their specific Savoyard identity, seeing themselves as part of a specifically Savoyard nation and culture.2 The question of how the French saw Savoy prior to 1860 in terms of its national identity merits equal consideration. The reaction to the events of 1536, the year in which François I invaded the duchy of his uncle, Duke Charles III, presents some ← 77 | 78 → interesting insights into this perception of identity by both sides during this particular conflict.3 In this chapter, I will analyse a controversy which arose as a result of this invasion and subsequent occupation; this conflict was played out very publicly in print between a Frenchman, Barthélemy Aneau, and a Savoyard, Marc-Claude de Buttet, between 1553 and 1575. If attention was first drawn to this controversy by François Mugnier, the author of the first major study on Buttet, the episode deserves to be revisited as further information has come to light.4 My re-examination of the episode also provides an appropriate context in which to present an edition of the rare work at the centre of the controversy, Buttet’s Apologie de la Savoie.

Reading and Writing the French Invasion of Savoy...

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