Religious exile was both a familiar and a deeply discomforting phenomenon in Reformation Europe. In the turbulent context of the later sixteenth century, a group of English Catholic exiles in Paris became a source of serious concern to the Protestant government at home and a destabilising presence in their host environment; their residence in Paris coincided with and contributed to a crisis in authority for the French Crown, and the buildup to the Spanish enterprise of England. This book uses a range of evidence from both sides of the Channel to investigate the polemical and practical impact of religious exile. It reconstructs the experience and priorities of the English Catholic laity and clergy in Paris, moving beyond contemporary stereotypes of the exiles, and the traditional historiographical view of English Catholicism as isolated and introverted. It emphasises the importance of placing English Catholic experience into a broader European context, shedding light on the significant place of France in their activity, thus offering a new angle entirely on the relationship between England and the continent in the early modern period. Katy Gibbons is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Portsmouth.
English Catholic Exiles in Late Sixteenth-Century Paris