Noble affinities were the essence of power in sixteenth-century France. This is the first book to analyze the development of a noble following during the whole course of the Wars of Religion. The Guise were one of the greatest families of Christendom and this is the first substantial work on them for a century. In Normandy, a stronghold of Protestantism, they built a formidable ultra-Catholic party that ultimately challenged the monarchy. This book breaks new ground by discussing all groups in political society, from international dynastic politics to peasant revolt.