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Dr. David van der Linden receives Maddock Research Fellowship from Marsh’s Library

19 November 2018

Dr David van der Linden, post-doctoral researcher and lecturer at the University of Groningen, has recently been awarded a Maddock Research Fellowship from Marsh’s Library, Dublin. In February 2019 he will spend a month at this unique library to conduct research for his book project Divided by Memory: Remembering the Wars of Religion in Early Modern France. The aim is to examine how conflicting Protestant and Catholic memories about the French Wars of Religion undermined religious coexistence and re-ignited civil conflict.

During his fellowship David will focus on a series of manuscripts and books written by Huguenots from La Rochelle to memorialise the French Wars of Religion and its aftermath. A major goal of the book project is to explore local memories of the wars. Scholarship on historical consciousness in early modern France has largely focused on the histories written by professional historians, who took a moderate view of the wars. Yet we still know very little about the ways in which people across France dealt with traumatic memories of violence, developing local, perhaps more partisan memories. The memories of these people were not necessarily shaped by official histories, but by their own experiences and by the stories they heard of past events. The Protestant-dominated city of La Rochelle, which experienced an iconoclast revolt, the massacre of priests, and two sieges, thus provides an excellent case to study local memories about the wars.

Marsh’s Library is crucial to this research, because it holds a series of local histories on the Reformed community of this city, written not by professional historians but by lawyers, merchants, and pastors. These documents are the legacy of Marsh’s first librarian, the Huguenot refugee and physician Élie Bouhereau from La Rochelle, who collected thousands of books and manuscripts throughout his life, including on the history of his native city. Together, they help to answer some poignant questions about the Protestant memory culture of La Rochelle. Why did authors consider past events worthy of memorialisation? Which events did they remember, and which ones did they blot out? And how did they judge the actions of their Catholic neighbours and their own involvement in the conflict?

For further information on the project, please visit, or follow @dcvanderlinden on Twitter.

Last modified:19 November 2018 11.39 a.m.

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