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Open Access 13. Disturbing Memories. Narrating Experiences and Emotions of Distressing Events in the French Wars of Religion

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13. Disturbing Memories. Narrating Experiences and Emotions of Distressing Events in the French Wars of Religion

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores how people memorialised distressing events in sixteenth century France. Narrative context as well as the genres that these necessitated shaped kinds of episodes of violence and distress that could be remembered and the way these memories and the emotions they generated could be expressed. Despite repeated official injunctions to oubliance, as Kathleen Long has argued, period during and following wars of religion in France saw an explosion of literary, artistic and historical works which make sense of period's violent events. Distress about religious violence and upheavals was memorialised in personal accounts by many narrators for a wide variety of audiences and contexts. Many memories of experiences during the violent wars of religion suggested just such a climate of fear but also a need to control the expression and visibility of feelings during moments of crisis, for practical reasons as well as in keeping with spiritual beliefs.

Keywords: France; Kathleen Long; oubliance; spiritual beliefs; violent wars



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