The Huguenots in France: After the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes with Memoirs of Distinguished Huguenot Refugees, and A Visit to the Country of Voudois

by Samuel Smiles

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The Huguenots are French Protestants, a denomination that began during the early sixteenth century. Their place in French society oscillated between their being celebrated and defamed. On August 24, 1572, while marking Saint Bartholomew’s Day, thousands of Huguenots were massacred. After decades of fighting occurred, a guarantee of peace was issued, which largely remained in place until October 18, 1685 when Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes. Many Huguenots fled France to escape persecution, and settled in various places, such as the United States, England, Sweden, Denmark, and Switzerland.

Samuel Smiles (1812 – 1904), was a Scottish social reformer, parliamentarian, and prolific author. He promoted frugality and asserted that poverty was caused largely by irresponsible habits, which may help account for his admiration of the Huguenot culture of industry and entrepreneurship.