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The Adventures of Telemachus  

Francois Fénelon

A Catholic priest and writer, François Fénelon (1651–1715) was enlisted by the church to preach to French Protestants (Huguenots) in order to bring them back to orthodox belief. His ... More

Examination of Lady Jane Grey, London  

John Foxe

Jane Grey, the granddaughter of Henry VIII’s sister Mary, was born in 1537, the same year as Edward VI, the only surviving son of the king who had sought a male heir so desperately. Jane, ... More

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, Trual of Anne Askew  

John Foxe

John Foxe (1517–1587) authored this martyrology that especially focuses on the martyrdoms of 16th-century Protestants at the hands of Catholic inquisitors. This selection recounts the trial ... More

Lessons for My Daughter  

Anne of France

“Madame la Grande,” as she was called, was the daughter of King Louis XI of France and briefly the regent for her brother Charles VIII. Anne (1461–1522) was an able stateswoman who managed ... More

Marina de San Miguel’s Confessions before the Inquisition, Mexico City  


The Inquisition was well established in Spain at the time of Cortés’s conquest in the 1520s. A tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition came in the conquistadors’ wake, ultimately ... More

The Salem Witch Trials, British North America  


The witch hunt that took place in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692 has been frequently (if sensationally) depicted in modern films and plays. But a reading of the extant documents used in the ... More

“The Wife Of Bath’s Tale” From The Canterbury Tales  

Geoffrey Chaucer

By Chaucer’s day (ca. 1340–1400), both England and Western Europe had changed a great deal. They were still arguably less advanced than the Muslim world, and warfare continued to bedevil ... More