Mapping French Diplomacy

Royal Correspondence and Diplomatic Geography 1494-1715

A Note on This Project

This digital monograph is in the process of ongoing production. Use the Table of Contents to navigate the currently available sections. Sections will be added as they are completed. Sections are likely to be modified as new research is conducted. All changes can be found at GitHub. Feel free to leave feedback as an issue in the GitHub repository or e-mail me.

Mapping French Diplomacy is a born-digital monograph that analyzes France's diplomatic geography from 1494 to 1715 by mapping all the letters with foreign correspondents written by French rulers. The project marries written analysis with visual analysis in a way only possible through modern interactive web technologies such as leaflet.js maps and other visualization tools. The project's goal is to represent France's diplomatic geography during this period during which France's foreign policy was dominated by the rivalry with Spain. The project also acts as a finding aid for researchers interested in the locating letters sent to foreign recipients by French rulers in through the inclusion of all data in the Appendices.

The project will be separated into four parts with an introduction and conclusion: Part I, the Italian Wars (1494-1559); Part II, the Wars of Religion (1560-1629); Part III, the Thirty Years War and the Fronde (1610-1659); Part IV, the wars of Louis XIV (1660-1714). While these sections are organized in a linear fashion, the project itself will be designed to be investigated through non-linear pathways. Sections within these parts will emphasize both narrative and thematic elements of the project without organizing them within a pre-described hierarchy. For instance, "Part II: The Wars of Religion" will be separated into sections on the letters of each author—Catherine de Médici, Charles IX (r. 1560-1574), Henri III, and Henri IV—but sections will also be dedicated to especially significant periods of the Wars of Religion such as the years surrounding the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre when Catholics massacred Protestants throughout the country in 1572, and the period known as the wars of the Catholic League (1584-1598). A comparative section of the letters of the various rulers will also be included. I will also provide full access to a complete interactive leaflet.js map and network analysis tools containing all data from the letters in appendices, so researchers will be able to explore the data on their own as a research tool.

Each map/section is fully interactive. The links within the associated narrative change the data visualized on the map to reflect the point in the narrative. Moreover, each cluster of points can be expanded to see each individual point representing one letter sent from a French ruler to someone in that location (for the letters sections) or one ambassador present in that location during one year (for the ambassadors sections). Clicking on a point on the map will open a popup that contains further information on the letter/diplomat the point represents, including basic information, such as a short summary of the letter (in some cases) and letter topics (in some cases). Letter topics refer to other states or principalities (neither France, nor the location of the recipient of the letter) discussed in the letter. All information on the map is included in the table for the map that can be opened wiht the open-table button. Finally, Appendices are included, providing uninterpreted visualizations, maps with all data content, and the raw data curated for this project. These Appendices are intended to act as research aids to scholars. With them you can locate letters, basic letter content, and links to their location through an interactive mapped environment. Currently, only the raw data is available. Other appendices will be added as the project develops.

Cite this page:
Nathan Michalewicz, "Preface," Mapping French Diplomacy: Royal Correspondence and Diplomatic Geography 1494-1715,