In two dozen short biographies of John Calvin's friends—including some who became enemies—Machiel A. van den Berg paints an intimate portrait of the great reformer's life, from his early boyhood in Noyon to his student days in Paris and Orleans, to his pastorate in and exile from Geneva and death at age 54. The book is peppered with quotations from Calvin's voluminous letters and abounds with secret court relationships, love affairs, death threats, poisonings, and narrow midnight escapes from pursuing authorities. Together, these colorful narratives illustrate just how much Calvin's friends influenced his life and thought.
"This work provides fresh and accessible insights into John Calvin's inner circle. The highly readable translation offers vignettes that show the Reformer's capacity for deep and enduring relationships with friends and family members."—Karin Maag