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 (the Duke of Ferrara) who served the pope and was determined to oppose Renée, plus the complexity and intrigues of Italian society of the time, and you have all the ingredients for a gripping biography.
‘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. I look forward to more of such books.’
Prof. Dr. Herman J. Selderhuis, professor of church history and church polity at the Theological University Apeldoorn (Netherlands) and author of several books on John Calvin
‘Among Italian feudal families in the sixteenth century, Renée of France, wife of the Duke of Ferrara, was alone in her adherence to the Reformation. She was not only prevented from favouring it openly, but was thwarted by her husband — a vassal of the pope – who restricted her liberties. Her story intertwines with the various clandestine groups of supporters of the Reformation, bringing to light, particularly in the form of her hospitality (given also to John Calvin!), the problems of pretence and suppression – can one be inwardly Protestant and outwardly Roman Catholic? – and of the relationship between the Reformation and the heretical movements. 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.