France was the largest unified political entity in early-modern Europe to attempt a major, institutionalised degree of religious pluralism. For a monarchy that had its roots in catholic traditions this was, indeed, an adventure full of unexpected consequences. This volume is based on papers delivered at a colloquium at the University of Exeter in 1999 and takes as its starting-point the various edicts – culminating in the famous edict of Nantes of 1598 – that epitomised religious pluralism. Its authors explore the national, international and local dimensions of a pluralism that challenged established notions of political authority and social behaviour at every turn. At the national level, the king issued edicts which embodied the royal intent but to what extent did they carry the endorsement of the parlements, the sovereign courts whose task was to interpret the law and adapt it to circumstance? How were these edicts carried out locally in the provinces? How different was the security of France’s protestant minority within the wider community after the king had granted them such controversial privileges? How does the pluralism accorded a religious minority compare with other countries? The chapters in this volume tackle these questions from new and interesting viewpoints, encourage a comparative approach and reflect the new agenda for the subject that emerged in the light of the 400th anniversary commemoration of the edict of Nantes in 1998.