About «Despatches of Michele Suriano and Marc' Antonio Barbaro »
Edited by the retired politician and archaeologist Sir Austen Henry Layard (1817 94), this 1891 publication reproduces the despatches of Michele Suriano and Marcantonio Barbaro, Venetian ambassadors to France in 1560 1 and 1561 4 respectively. Addressed to the doge of Venice, the documents provide valuable accounts of one of the most fascinating periods of French history, covering the death of Francis II, the accession of Charles IX, the regency of Catherine de' Medici, and the negotiations for the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots. The documents appear in their original Italian and in English translation. Evident in Suriano's and Barbaro's letters is the underlying tension between French Catholics and Protestant Huguenots, which would culminate in the St Bartholomew's Day Massacre of 1572. The book was produced for the Huguenot Society of London, and Layard, the Society's first president, was himself of Huguenot descent."