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Robert Knecht

In April 2002, Robert Knecht wrote an article about his quest to find Napoleonic treasure. Now, suspecting the letter which prompted it might be a hoax, he revisits the evidence.

The young men who surrounded the French king have been wrongly dismissed by some historians as effeminate, inconsequential sycophants. 

Robert Knecht revisits an article marking 400 years since the assassination of Henry III of France and asks why the last Valois king has attracted so little attention from English-speaking historians.

Spain and Portugal divided almost all of South America between them, but in the 16th century the French also had commercial and colonial ambitions in Brazil. Robert Knecht tells the stories of two French expeditions that ended in disaster.

Robert Knecht describes the shortcomings of Henry III, the last Valois king, and the circumstances that led him to become the first – but not the last – French monarch to die at the hands of one of his subjects.

Few works of art are as closely linked to history as the gold salt cellar commissioned by Francis I of France in 1541 from the Florentine goldsmith and sculptor, Benvenuto Cellini. Its theft three years ago from an Austrian art gallery is a major loss to world heritage as Robert Knecht explains.

Robert Knecht visits two of France’s most remarkable châteaux, which stand as monuments to the ambitions of their upwardly mobile creators Thomas Bohier and Nicolas Fouquet.

Robert Knecht looks at the ‘eminence rouge’ and considers how his image, carefully crafted during his lifetime, has become that of a demonic schemer.

Robert Knecht describes his quest to unravel a mystery originating in the French defeat in the Battle of the Nations.