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Durham University

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Publication details for Dr Tom Hamilton

Hamilton, Tom (2016). The Procession of the League: Remembering the Wars of Religion in Visual and Literary Satire. French History 30 (1): 1-30.

Author(s) from Durham


This article examines the famous series of images known as the Procession of the League in order to explore how memories of the Wars of Religion were formed in the early modern period and with what consequences. Following the Edict of Nantes, the cumulative production of royalist painters, engravers, historians, poets, publishers and collectors turned one of the strengths and defining features of Catholic League piety—its enormous popular processions—into a target of satire. New discoveries concerning the commissioning, copying and circulation of these pictures reveal how Catholics and Protestants after the religious wars could be surprisingly united by memory when it served a political purpose. Ultimately this shared memory could not conceal the changing nature of confessional relations in France throughout the seventeenth century when, amid renewed religious controversy, artists reimagined the scene with polemical intent.