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Protestantism, Publication And The French Wars Of Religion: The Case Of Caen

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Chapter Summary

In the years after 1555 the French Protestant church experienced a period of vast growth. From the foundation of the first recognizably Calvinist congregations in this year to the outbreak of the French religious wars a short seven years later, the Huguenot movement had recruited as many as one million members, organized in over one thousand churches: at its height probably a quarter of the urban population of France. The growth of Protestantism in turn stimulated a large increase in vernacular Protestant printing. A recent discovery in the municipal library at Caen has thrown a whole new light on the operations of several of the more respectable Caen printing houses. Even when printers were printing exclusively religious and Protestant works, which seems to have been the preference of most of Caen's printers, they confined their output to distinct sub-categories within the whole field of Calvinist writings.

Keywords: Caen's printers; Calvinist writings; French protestant church; French religious wars; protestantism



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