The history and historical culture of the French-speaking world is a major field of interest among English-speaking scholars. To enhance scholarly understanding of this monde, from 2010 the Centre has begun producing a unique series of midigraphs entitled “St Andrews Studies in French History and Culture”.

The purpose of this series is to publish a range of shorter monographs and studies, between 25,000 and 50,000 words long, which illuminate the history of this community of peoples between the end of the Middle Ages and the late twentieth century. The series covers the full span of historical themes relating to France: from political history, through military/naval, diplomatic, religious, social, financial, cultural and intellectual history, art and architectural history, to literary culture. Titles in the series are rigorously peer-reviewed through the editorial board and external assessors, and are published as both e-books and paperbacks.

Published paperback copies are available in leading world libraries, or through on-demand print from the Centre; and e-book files may be consulted and downloaded through this webpage and through Research@StAndrews:FullText at the University of St Andrews.

In keeping with the mission of the Centre to enhance public understanding of the Francophone world, these publications are free at the point of delivery and come with no charge for consultation, downloading, printing or circulation, either for private use or for educational purposes. Copyright is asserted merely in order to protect the works as the intellectual production of individual scholars.



The New enfant du siècle: Joseph de Maistre as a Writer
edited by Carolina Armenteros and Richard A. Lebrun
ISBN 978-1-907548-00-0  paperback
ISBN 978-1-907548-01-7     e-book
Published January 2010

Joseph de Maistre’s reputation as a writer is legendary. His style, unique and alive, moulded the French language anew. It sabotaged his attempts at anonymous publication and earned him, through the centuries, the praises of enemies and admirers. Yet the relationship between Maistre’s thought and writing remains ill-known. This collection is the first to examine how Maistre’s ideas – including his denunciation of the written word – intersected with his writing practices and personas. The essays disclose an author formed by duty and affectionate relationships, by the conventions of public combat, by an intense sense of history, and by the imperatives of Revolution.

Caste, Class and Profession in Old Regime France: the French Army and the Ségur Reform of 1781
by David Bien with introductions by Rafe Blaufarb and Jay M. Smith
ISBN 978-1-907548-02-4 paperback
ISBN 978-1-907548-03-1 e-book
Published July 2010

First published in French in 1974, David D. Bien’s essay on the nature of nobility in old regime France pivoted around the 1781 “Ségur regulation” that required four generations of nobility for most officers entering the  army. Once seen as a classic manifestation of the so-called “aristocratic reaction” against commoners, the loi Ségur, in Bien’s deft analysis, instead emerges as a telling sign of tensions within an increasingly divided nobility. While exploding crude myths about class conflict and its causative role in the Revolution, Bien mounts a strong case for viewing eighteenth-century social tensions as the product of professional identity as much as social class. This study is presented here for the first time in English with a short preface by Rafe Blaufarb, and a wide-ranging introduction by Jay M. Smith that places Bien’s work in the wider context of historical thinking over the past half-century on the origins of the French Revolution.

Proven patriots: the French diplomatic corps, 1789-1799
by Linda S. Frey and Marsha L. Frey
ISBN 978-1-907548-04-8 paperback
ISBN 978-1-907548-05-5 e-book
Published October 2011

This study analyzes a hitherto unexamined group, the French diplomatic corps during the Revolution (1789 to 1799), and focuses on the question of loyalty and conscience. For some diplomats choice was an illusion as their status often determined their fate. Some supported the king and continued to do so in spite of the high cost, often creatively sabotaging the Revolution. Others put nation, as they defined it, above king. Because the definition of loyalty constantly shifted the corps, like the army and the bureaucracy, was periodically purged. Those who had worked for or been sympathetic to the old regime or those who had allied with a certain political faction came under scrutiny. The turmoil in the diplomatic corps not only had international repercussions but also reflects larger societal trends, such as the attack on the aristocracy and the displacement of one elite by another. The French diplomatic corps was thus emblematic of many issues surrounding the revolutionary struggle of this decade

Revisiting Geneva: Robert Kingdon and the Coming of the French Wars of Religion
edited by Sara Barker
ISBN 978-1-907548-07-9 paperback
ISBN 978-1-907548-06-2 e-book
Published January 2012

The late Robert Kingdon’s Geneva and the Coming of the Wars of Religion in France, 1555-1563 (1956) was not merely an engaging and challenging piece of scholarship, it came to dominate the study of Genevan Protestantism and the city’s relationship with other Reformed communities, particularly those in France. Based on the rich archival records in Geneva, Kingdon’s work would inspire many subsequent scholars to investigate the questions he first raised in the 1950s. This volume is testament to the breadth of material he first covered, and demonstrates the variety of fields in which he came to have influence, including printing history, the role of the nobility in the Reformation, the functioning of the Consistory and the lives of pastors. Born out of a conference celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of his original book, this volume now stands as a memorial to a life of exemplary scholarship

“For the salvation of my soul”: women and wills in medieval and early modern France.
edited by Joëlle Rollo-Koster and Kathryn L. Reyerson
ISBN 978-1-907548-08-6 paperback
ISBN 978-1-907548-09-3 e-book
Published August 2012

This volume seeks to investigate the testamentary practices of women in medieval and early modern France, examining the experience of a cross-section of the population, from artisans to the elite, in Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, Marseille, Montpellier, La Rochelle, Brittany, and Burgundy. The making of a will was perhaps the single most prominent moment in women’s lives for the assertion of agency. Though constrained to some degree by customary practice and the increasing influence of Roman law, women demonstrated remarkable initiative in the formulation of their last wishes. Wills permitted women to reward friendship and loyalty, to designate universal heirs as major beneficiaries, to stipulate conditions of inheritance so that last wishes were carried out, and, perhaps most importantly, to make pious donations to the Church for the salvation of the testators’ souls. They chose their burial sites and arranged for funeral processions, and they endowed anniversary masses for their souls in perpetuity. Individual testamentary decisions differed, as did spousal strategies, but the reinforcement of family ties, even the assertion of relationship, was possible in wills.

The Legacy of Iconoclasm: religious war and the relic landscape of Tours, Blois and Vendôme, 1550-1750
by Eric Nelson
978-1-907548-10-9 paperback
978-1-907548-11-6 e-book
Published September 2013

This study explores the process of physically rebuilding, renewing and reinventing the relic landscape in the regions around Tours, Blois and Vendôme following the widespread iconoclastic damage of the French religious wars. The author takes a long-term perspective exploring developments over two hundred years, from the mid-sixteenth through to the mid-eighteenth centuries. The book explores what the physical renewal of the landscape can tell us about evolving beliefs and practices concerning relics during the Catholic Reformation and what reconstruction activities reveal about the meaning and experience of relic veneration. It pays particular attention to how the relic landscape evolved through relic translations and how communities that oversaw relic shrines remembered the iconoclastic acts of the religious wars through liturgical and ritual commemorations, memorials, artistic renderings, oral traditions and written accounts.

Hold Still, Madame:  Wartime Gender and the Photography of Women in France during the Great War
by Nicole Hudgins
978-1-907548-12-3 paperback
978-1-907548-13-0 e-book
Published July 2014

This study investigates French images of women during the First World War, the feminine postures and roles captured by photographers, how female images were used in the wartime media and by the state, and how captions and other textual modes strengthened an overarching message of total consent. By analysing the three most prominent genres of female imagery during the period – women in distress, feminine devotion, and women toiling for the war effort – this book seeks to demonstrate how photography assisted in the gender work of the war. Photographers and publishers showed how traditional feminine traits could contribute to a male-designed and directed war effort, while also concealing instances of female dissent, which included feminist, socialist, popular and pacifist objections to the war. Yet, although the archives contain few wartime images created by French women themselves, this work also introduces a small group of period photographs, lithographs, articles and literary works that disrupted the visual narrative of subordination.

H-France review:

In search of the gentilshommes campagnards: noble diversity and social structure in Burgundy, 1682-1789
by Susan Carr
978-1-907548-14-7 paperback
978-1-907548-15-4 e-book
Published July 2017

This study of the gentilshommes campagnards of Burgundy reconsiders the supposed decline of the population of old rural noble families during the last century of the ancien régime. Historical debate has focused on various contributing factors in this ‘decline’, such as government centralisation of the seigneurial system, venal ennoblement, noble poverty, and the social and cultural divide between aristocratic elites and minor nobility, old rural military landowning families and newer professional robe nobility. Re-visiting these themes, integrating them with an analysis of official records and surveys of the Burgundian noble population of the period, and looking afresh at notions of noble identity allows this volume to challenge the established view of a noble population and culture in decline. Contemporary sources not only reveal the existence of a sizeable community of gentilshommes, diverse in origins, identities and cultures, but also show that far from fading into provincial obscurity, this community had adapted and evolved, and continued to thrive right up to the eve of the Revolution.


The Reform of Zeal: François de Sales and Militant French Catholicism
by Thomas A. Donlan
978-1-907548-16-1 paperback
978-1-907548-17-8 e-book
Published December 2018

The Reform of Zeal explores the origins, nature, and impact of François de Sales’s vision of Catholic douceur (gentleness) in the era of the French Wars of Religion. Since Natalie Zemon Davis’s pioneering work on the ‘rites of violence’, scholarship has focused on the militant Catholic cultures of early modern France. Taking a fresh approach to de Sales’s work as a missionary, spiritual director, and founder of the Order of Visitation, this volume documents the evolution of de Sales’s spirituality and his championing of religious cultures of nonviolence within French Catholicism. The Reform of Zeal argues that Salesian douceur not only constituted one of the most effective critiques of French Catholic militancy in the period, but also a unique source of religious renewal in the seventeenth century, independent of Leaguer and early dévot fervour.

Read Linder Lierheimer’s review on H-France here!



We are actively soliciting proposals and submissions for this series. Scholars interested in publishing work in this series should contact the editor-in-chief of the series


Dr Justine Firnhaber-Baker, University of St Andrews (Editor-in-Chief)
Professor Rafe Blaufarb, Florida State University
Dr Sarah Easterby-Smith, University of St Andrews
Dr David Evans, University of St Andrews
Dr Linda Goddard, University of St Andrews
Dr Peter Hicks, La Fondation Napolèon/University of Bath
Professor Simon Kitson, University of Auckland
Dr Alexander Marr, University of Cambridge
Professor Darrin McMahon, Dartmouth College
Professor Eric Nelson, Missouri State University
Dr David Parrott, New College, University of Oxford
Professor Andrew Pettegree, University of St Andrews
Dr Michael Rapport, University of Glasgow
Professor Guy Rowlands, University of St Andrews
Dr Bernhard Struck, University of St Andrews
Dr Stephen Tyre, University of St Andrews
Dr Malcolm Walsby, Université Rennes II
Dr Sandy Wilkinson, University College Dublin
Professor Andrew Williams, University of St Andrews
Dr Akhila Yechury, University of St Andrews


Contact the Centre’s Director, Dr. Justine Firnhaber-Baker: [email protected]

Contact the Centre’s PGR Intern, Tori Champion: [email protected]

Mailing Address:
Centre for French History and Culture
School of History
University of St Andrews

+44 (0)1334 462906