This book is a new edition of Mack P. Holt's classic study of the French religious wars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Drawing on the scholarship of social and cultural historians of the Reformation, it shows how religion infused both politics and the socio-economic tensions of the period to produce a long extended civil war. Professor Holt integrates court politics and the political theory of the elites with the religious experiences of the popular classes, offering a fresh perspective on the wars and on why the French were willing to kill their neighbors in the name of religion. The book has been created specifically for undergraduates and general readers with no background knowledge of either French history or the Reformation. This new edition updates the text in the light of new work published in the last decade and the 'Suggestions for further reading' has been completely re-written.