Bitesize Biography - RENEE OF FRANCE
Author: Simonetta Carr
Renée of France is little known today, but this fascinating and often controversial woman was a correspondent of Calvin. She loved the Reformation, but in sixteenth century Italy such a position could not be lightly held. Add in a husband who served the pope, and opposed his wife, and you have all the ingredients for a gripping biography.
The author is clear that this book does not give a definitive answer to who Renee of France was; but, rather, a brief look at the life of a woman who made difficult choices, and asked stimulating questions, is offered. There may be those who recognize themselves in her struggles as a wife, mother or a ruler. She received constant and encouraging counsel from John Calvin. This counsel was vital for that time, but is also relevant for today.
Prof.Dr.Herman J.Selderhuis, professor of church history in the Netherlands, observes, ‘Simonetta Carr has succeeded in making the reader of her fine book a contemporary, yes, even a close friend of Renée of France. Based on the sources, written with great quality and a pleasure to read, is the fascinating story of this royal woman.’
‘She was not only prevented from favouring it (the Reformation) openly, but was thwarted by her husband — a vassal of the pope — who restricted her liberties. This book provides a sketch on the complex movement of Reformation in Italy as seen and lived by a French royal princess, wife of a feudal prince of the pope.’ Rev. Dr Emanuele Fiume, pastor of the Waldensian Church in Rome and author of several books on the history of Protestantism.
Simonetta Carr was born in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Besides her busy job as a mother of eight, she has written for several newspapers and magazines and has translated the works of several Christian authors into Italian. She is author of the series, ‘Christian Biographies for Young Readers’ (Reformation Heritage Books) and of the fictionalized biography Weight of a Flame — The Passion of Olympia Morata (P&R). She lives in Santee, California, with her husband Thomas and family, and is a member and Sunday school teacher at Christ United Reformed Church in Santee, CA.