Memory and Community in Sixteenth-Century France engages the question of remembering from a number of different perspectives. It examines the formation of communities within diverse cultural, religious, and geographical contexts, especially in relation to the material conditions for producing texts and discourses that were the foundations for collective practices of memory. The Wars of Religion in France gave rise to numerous narrative and graphic representations of bodies remembered as icons and signifiers of the religious ’troubles.’ The multiple sites of these clashes were filled with sound, language, and diverse kinds of signs mediated by print, writing, and discourses that recalled past battles and opposed different factions. The volume demonstrates that memory and community interacted constantly in sixteenth-century France, producing conceptual frames that defined the conflicting groups to which individuals belonged, and from which they derived their identities. The ongoing conflicts of the Wars hence made it necessary for people both to remember certain events and to forget others. As such, memory was one of the key ideas in a period defined by its continuous reformulations of the present as a forum in which contradictory accounts of the recent past competed with one another for hegemony. One of the aims of Memory and Community in Sixteenth-Century France is to remedy the lack of scholarship on this important memorial function, which was one of the intellectual foundations of the late French Renaissance and its fractured communities.

chapter |16 pages


part I|54 pages

The Nature of Memory

chapter 1|18 pages

Two Queens, a Dog, and a Purloined Letter

On Memory as a Discursive Phenomenon in Late Renaissance France

chapter 2|18 pages

“M'en souvenant, je m'oblie moymesmes”

Délie as Memento Mori

chapter 3|16 pages

Soundscapes of the Wars of Religion

Sensory Crisis and the Collective Memory of Violence

part II|64 pages

Re-viewing the Wars of Religion

chapter 4|14 pages

Communities under Siege

Léry, Famine, and the Cannibal Within

chapter 5|10 pages

Fathers and Sons

Paternity, Memory, and Community in Théodore Agrippa d'Aubigné's Histoire universelle

chapter 7|22 pages

From Communion to Communication

The Creation of a Reformation Public through Satire

part III|36 pages

Remembering People and Places

chapter 8|12 pages

Brantôme's Dames illustres

Remembering Marguerite de Navarre

part IV|72 pages

Memory, Identity, Alterity