Reporting for a King: Valois France and Europe through the eyes of ambassador Dantas (1557-1568)
Culture & History Digital Journal
“Reporting for a King: Valois France and Europe through the eyes of ambassador Dantas (1557-1568)”
During his embassy to France between 1557 and 1568, João Pereira Dantas produced valuable reports on French events that have remained almost unnoticed. The purpose of this article is to present the major themes of Dantas’s epistolary and to invite experts on the history of France and Europe to make greater use of their contents. Additionally, this paper demonstrates the key role played by Dantas at the Valois court, by documenting his relations with Queen Catherine de Medici and King Charles IX. The study of Dantas’s epistolary, also reveals his use of France as a centre for Portuguese networks of European information. Finally, through a careful study of Dantas’s actions and a comparison to his predecessors in the French embassy, the importance of the French connection for Portugal – and, crucially, vice-versa – is made in an under-studied period of French-Portuguese relations deeply influenced by the French civil wars.