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Renée of France
by Simonetta Carr
Publisher:EP (Evangelical Press)
Renée of France lived in the 16th century and was a friend and correspondent of John Calvin. This book recounts the main events of her life which, due to the brevity of the book make for fairly dry reading. However, because she was a Protestant noblewomen married to a Catholic nobleman she lived at a time of religious and political turmoil, which is what makes her story worth telling.
The impression given by her remaining letters is of a strong-minded woman who struggled to reconcile her faith with the predominant Catholicism of those who surrounded her, which is what makes her correspondence with Calvin interesting. The last chapter of the book reproduces some of Calvin's thoughts on issues such as the Mass and the unity of the Old and New Testaments, which have more resonance when we consider the times in which they were written.
The book is part of a series called Bitesize Biographies, and would make a useful reference tool. The author has obviously done a huge amount of research and had concentrated on presenting the facts rather than painting a portrait of the person.
Reviewer: Paula Hill (23/04/13)