© 2019

Elizabeth I of England through Valois Eyes

Power, Representation, and Diplomacy in the Reign of the Queen, 1558–1588

  • Offers the first full-length study of French royal representations of Elizabeth I

  • Draws upon hundreds of newly translated and published documents

  • Appeals to students and scholars of early modern Europe, Elizabethan history, early modern diplomatic relations, and Anglo-French relations

Palgrave Macmillan

Part of the Queenship and Power book series (QAP)

About this book


This book examines the first thirty years of Elizabeth I’s reign from the perspective of the Valois kings, Charles IX and Henri III of France. Estelle Paranque sifts through hundreds of French letters and ambassadorial reports to construct a fuller picture of early modern Anglo-French relations, highlighting key events such as the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, the imprisonment and execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the victory of England over the Spanish Armada in 1588. By drawing on a wealth of French sources, she illuminates the French royal family’s shifting perceptions of Elizabeth I and suggests new conclusions about her reign.


Elizabeth I and France Valois and Elizabeth I French royal family Anglo-French relations Charles IX Henry III Victory of the Spanish Armada Tudor Queens Anglo-French relations under Elizabeth I Valois kings St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre Mary Stuart's execution

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.New College of the HumanitiesLondonUK

About the authors

Estelle Paranque is Lecturer in Early Modern History at the New College of the Humanities and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Warwick’s Center for the Study of the Renaissance, UK. She has published several essays on Elizabeth I of England and Henri III of France and has co-edited two volumes of essays on medieval and early modern European queens.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Elizabeth I of England through Valois Eyes
  • Book Subtitle Power, Representation, and Diplomacy in the Reign of the Queen, 1558–1588
  • Authors Estelle Paranque
  • Series Title Queenship and Power
  • Series Abbreviated Title Queenship and Power
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-01528-2
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-72435-1
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-01529-9
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XV, 235
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics History of Early Modern Europe
    History of Britain and Ireland
    History of France
    Women's Studies


“This book offers an interesting insight not just into England’s relationship with France and Elizabeth’s relationship with the Duke of Alençon, but also her relationship with his ambassadors and how she was able to control the proceedings. … It would be useful for anyone studying England’s relationship with France or anyone who wants to find out more about Elizabeth’s marriage negotiations with the country.” (Tudor Life, Issue 56, April, 2019)

“Drawing on a treasure trove of manuscripts that have never before been translated or published, this massively researched book offers a valuable new perspective on the first thirty years of Elizabeth I’s reign. Even readers thoroughly familiar with her reign will be jolted into fresh perceptions by re-encountering the story from the French point of view.” (Ilona Bell, Clarke Professor of English Emerita, Williams College, USA)

 “In this fascinating study, Estelle Paranque has examined thousands of letters between the French ambassadors to England and their royal masters—many little known to English scholars and translated here—to provide a wealth of new insight into how Elizabeth I was represented among foreign observers, while also allowing us to hear her own thoughts in reported speech. The picture that emerges is of a very different Elizabeth I than the one with which we’re familiar. This sparkling new work gives us what historians long for: a fresh perspective on one of England’s best-loved queens.” (Suzannah Lipscomb, Reader in Early Modern History, University of Roehampton, UK)