‘His Courage Produced More Fear in His Enemies than Shame in His Soldiers’: Siege Combat and Emotional Display in the French Wars of Religion
French military officers engaged in extensive siege warfare during the French Wars of Religion (1562–1629), writing about their combat experiences and emotional responses. Hundreds of cities and towns were blockaded or besieged during the prolonged civil wars between Catholics and Calvinists in France, forcing military officers to confront siege conditions frequently. This chapter presents the ways in which sieges served as sites for emotional display and examines Catholic officers’ siege narratives as sources for the history of emotions. The chapter examines three case studies of officers’ personal narratives, demonstrating the range of feelings that officers experienced and the diverse rhetorical uses of their emotional experiences in their writings. I argue that these three texts present divergent models of Catholic loyalism, virtuous command and religious testimony.