Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak. — John Adams

Story of Old France - Helene Guerber

This book, along with its companion volume, The Story of New France provides a comprehensive overview of French history from Roman Gaul to the First World War. This first volume begins with stories of the Gauls prior to the Roman Conquest, and ends with the death of Louis XVI. The Merovingian, Carolingian, Capet, and Valois dynasties are covered, as well as the early Bourbon monarchs.

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The aim of this volume is to give a complete graphic account of the main features of the history of France to 1715 A.D., with as much additional illuminating detail as limited space permits. Besides outlines of the principal events, this narrative includes many biographical sketches, together with the anecdotes and sayings to which allusions are often made in literature, politics, and art. It also gives such data in regard to places, public buildings, and works of art as the well informed like to have at their fingers' ends. As the book is intended mainly for youthful readers, due regard has been paid to moral teachings and to the judicious omission of harmful incidents.

The book is arranged for elementary history classes, and for supplementary reading as well. Some acquaintance with the history of France is most helpful in understanding and studying literature, and English, American, Medieval, and General history. Besides, in schools where French is taught, it can serve as a work of reference for the pupils, who continually stumble across names and allusions which require elucidation. The author, there-fore, hopes many schools will find this narrative useful in one or the other connection, and that it will appeal equally to teachers and pupils and perhaps to other readers also.

Many names occur and recur in the text because familiarity with their appearance is desirable from an educational point of view. Where the pronunciation seems difficult, it has been carefully indicated the first time the name appears, and the indication is repeated in the index. Before the day's reading, a few minutes may profitably be given to the pronunciation of such names by the teacher, with their repetition by the pupils. This process will facilitate the reading and hence increase the interest. Names in parenthesis need not be read aloud, sight acquaintance with them being all that is expected of young readers, so the pronunciation of those names is given in the index only.

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Front Matter

France Long Ago
The Gauls In France
The Priests of the Gauls
Sailor Stories
Conquests of the Gauls
Two Great Battles
Caesar in Gaul
Gaul under the Romans
First Christian Martyrs
Patron Saint of France
How the Franks Came to Gaul
The First Kings
Conquests of Clovis
Clotaire and His Relatives
Two Rival Queens
Good King Dagobert
The Saracens Checked
End of the Merovingians
Charlemagne's Wars
Charlemagne's Manners
Charlemagne, Emperor
Troublesome Sons
The Strassburg Oath
The Normans Besiege Paris
Last of the Carolingians
The Year One Thousand
Robert's Two Wives
The Wealth of the Clergy
The First Crusade
A Love Story
The Second Crusade
More Crusades
The Battle of Bouvines
Blanche of Castile
The Sixth Crusade
The Reign of Louis UX
Effect of the Crusades
The Battle of the Spurs
End of the Knights Templar
The Hundred Years' War
The Siege of Calais
The Battle of Poitiers
Seven Years of Misery
The Brave du Guesclin
Achievements of Charles V.
Charles VI.
Misrule in France
The Disgraceful Treaty
Joan to the Rescue
Orleans and Rheims
Joan's Captivity and Martyrdom
Charles's Successes
The Crafty King Louis XI.
Louis XI.'s Reign
Achievements of Louis XI.
Charles VIII.
The Second Italian War
Death of Louis XII.
Francis I.
Rivalry of Kings
Achievements of Francis I.
End of Francis I.'s Reign
The Reign of Henry II.
A Young King and Queen
Catherine's Regency
The Forced Wedding
Massacre of the Huguenots
Death of Charles IX.
An Effeminate King
The Battle of Courtras
The Murder of the Guises
Winning a Crown
Conversion of Henry IV.
Henry IV's Second Marriage
Death of Henry IV.
The Minority of Louis XIII.
Rule of the Favorites
Richelieu and Louis XIII.
End of Louis XIII's Reign
Beginning of a Great Reign
Wars of the Fronde
Death of Mazarin
The Iron Mask
Louis XIV's Campaigns
Madame de Maintenon
Later Wars of Louis XIV
The Spanish Succession
The Age of Louis XIV.