francis I

Francis I: The Maker of Modern France

by Leonie Frieda

HarperCollins, 2018

Adult Nonfiction History

5 cups of tea out of 11

Summary: Frieda’s argument is that Francis I is an underrated king of France and that he laid the foundation for modern France during his reign.

Likes: Most of the facts were presented in chronological order which I always appreciate.

Dislikes: This felt a little shallow. One piece of evidence presented for the modernizing was that he didn’t wear black to his predecessor’s funeral (he wore purple instead). I also didn’t feel like any evidence presented indicated that Francis I was any more important in France’s history than any other kings of France before or after.

Overall I don’t feel like Francis I is that underrated. I wanted to read this book because Francis I has been mentioned in multiple other books and in my history classes. So it’s entirely possible that this book is meant for people who know about the Sun King and the king who was married to Marie Antoinette and was guillotined but not much else about France’s royalty. This wasn’t bad but I wanted more from it.

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