The Trouble with Huguenots

Ever since the assassination of King Louis XIII and the overthrow of his chief minister, Cardinal Richelieu, France has been in political and military turmoil. The possibility—even the likelihood—of revolution hovers in the background. The new king Gaston, whom many consider an usurper, is no friend of France’s Protestants, known as the Huguenots. The fears and hostility of the Huguenots toward the French crown have only been heightened by the knowledge brought back in time by the Americans of the town of Grantville. Half a century in the future, the French king of the time would revoke the Edict of Nantes of 1598, which proclaimed that the rights of Huguenots would be respected. At the center of all this turmoil is the universally recognized leader of the Huguenots: Duke Henri de Rohan. He knows from the same up-time history books that he is “scheduled” to die less than two years in the future and he has pressing problem on his hands. His estranged wife and brother are siding with the usurper Gaston and plotting against him. Still worse, his sole child and heir is his nineteen-year-old daughter Marguerite. He believes he has less than two years to find a suitable husband for her—but acceptable Calvinist noblemen, French or foreign, are sparse at the moment. What’s a father to do?