Prosper Mérimée: Chronique du règne de Charles IX [A Chronicle of the Reign of Charles IX]

(1291 words)
  • Peter Cogman (University of Southampton)

Mérimée's only novel has as its central event a vivid evocation of the Saint Bartholomew's Day massacre during the night of 23-24 August 1572, when over 3,000 Protestants died in Paris at the hands of a Catholic mob. The topic was a favourite one for liberal writers under the reactionary and clerical rule of Charles X. Mérimée's work coincided with the vogue for historical novels triggered by the success of translations of Sir Walter Scott; it is the best documented of the French Romantic works in the genre, drawing on the contemporary memoirs of Lanoue, Tavannes, Pierre de lEstoile, Vieille-Ville, Monluc and Brantôme (all published in the 1820s) and on Agrippa d'Aubigné. In the Preface Mérimée confesses: “In history, it's …

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Cogman, Peter. "Chronique du règne de Charles IX". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 November 2003
[, accessed 25 September 2016.]