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This volume makes accessible some of the most recent research of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries in France. Using a topical approach to provide broad thematic coverage of the period from 1500 to 1648, each chapter focuses on a specific area of French history: politics and the state, the economy, society and culture, religion, and gender and the family. The book is more than a collection of topical essays, however, as each chapter is linked to the others, together forming a coherent narrative of French history from the advent of the Reformation, through the civil wars of the second half of the sixteenth century, to the Fronde. The result is the most up-to-date synthesis of this period, showing how recent scholarship has significantly revised the traditional narrative of French history.