Catherine de Medici

Author: Leonie Frieda

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 0063235919

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 466

View: 9133


The inspiration for the STARZ original series, The Serpent Queen, premiering September 11. “A beautifully written portrait of a ruthless, subtle and fearless woman fighting for survival and power in a world of gangsterish brutality, routine assassination and religious mania. . . . Frieda has brought a largely forgotten heroine-villainess and a whole sumptuously vicious era back to life. . . . This is The Godfather meets Elizabeth.” —Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar Poisoner, besotted mother, despot, necromancer, engineer of a massacre: the dark legend of Catherine de Medici is centuries old. In this critically hailed biography, Leonie Frieda reclaims the story of this unjustly maligned queen of France to reveal a skilled ruler battling extraordinary political and personal odds. Based on comprehensive research including thousands of Catherine’s own letters, Frieda unfurls Catherine’s story from her troubled childhood in Florence to her tumultuous marriage to Henry II of France; her transformation of French culture to her reign as a queen who would use brutality to ensure her children’s royal birthright. Brilliantly executed, this enthralling biography goes beyond myth to paint a very human portrait of this remarkable figure.

Catherine de'Medici

Author: R J Knecht

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317896866

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 1279


Catherine de' Medici (1519-89) was the wife of one king of France and the mother of three more - the last, sorry representatives of the Valois, who had ruled France since 1328. She herself is of preeminent importance to French history, and one of the most controversial of all historical figures. Despised until she was powerful enough to be hated, she was, in her own lifetime and since, the subject of a "Black Legend" that has made her a favourite subject of historical novelists (most notably Alexandre Dumas, whose Reine Margot has recently had new currency on film). Yet there is no recent biography of her in English. This new study, by a leading scholar of Renaissance France, is a major event. Catherine, a neglected and insignificant member of the Florentine Medici, entered French history in 1533 when she married the son of Francis I for short-lived political reasons: her uncle was pope Clement VII, who died the following year. Now of no diplomatic value, Catherine was treated with contempt at the French court even after her husband's accession as Henry II in 1547. Even so, she gave him ten children before he was killed in a tournament in 1559. She was left with three young boys, who succeeded to the throne as Francis II (1559-60), Charles IX (1560-74) and Henry III (1574-89). As regent and queen-mother, a woman and with no natural power-base of her own, she faced impossible odds. France was accelerating into chaos, with political faction at court and religious conflict throughout the land. As the country disintegrated, Catherine's overriding concern was for the interests of her children. She was tireless in her efforts to protect her sons' inheritance, and to settle her daughters in advantageous marriages. But France needed more. Catherine herself was both peace-loving and, in an age of frenzied religious hatred, unbigoted. She tried to use the Huguenots to counterbalance the growing power of the ultra-Catholic Guises but extremism on all sides frustrated her. She was drawn into the violence. Her name is ineradicably associated with its culmination, the Massacre of St Bartholomew (24 August 1572), when thousands of Huguenots were slaughtered in Paris and elsewhere. To this day no-one knows for certain whether Catherine instigated the massacre or not, but here Robert Knecht explores the probabilities in a notably level-headed fashion. His book is a gripping narrative in its own right. It offers both a lucid exposition of immensely complex events (with their profound imact on the future of France), and also a convincing portrait of its enigmatic central character. In going behind the familiar Black Legend, Professor Knecht does not make the mistake of whitewashing Catherine; but he shows how intractable was her world, and how shifty or intransigent the people with whom she had to deal. For all her flaws, she emerges as a more sympathetic - and, in her pragmatism, more modern - figure than most of her leading contemporaries.

Catherine de Medici

Author: N.A

Publisher: Capstone

ISBN: 9780756515812

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 120

View: 2319


Describes the life and accomplishments of the queen who worked to achieve peace between French Protestants and Catholics during the reigns of her husband, King Henry II of France, and her sons.

The Confessions of Catherine de Medici

Author: C W Gortner

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 1848947178

Category: Fiction

Page: 432

View: 3333


I was ten years old when I discovered I might be a witch... The sixteenth century: the era of queens. Catherine de Medici is an impressionable, mystical girl. She is orphaned and taken hostage by her enemies, and manipulated by her advisors; yet she is to become France's most powerful regent. History will make her name synonymous with evil, but she is all too human. Humiliated at the hands of her husband and his mistress, and haunted by her gift of second sight, she must rise above her troubles and fight to save her dynasty and adopted country from the brutal Wars of Religion... In THE CONFESSIONS OF CATHERINE DE MEDICI, C W Gortner vividly depicts the turbulent life of one of history's most notorious yet misunderstood women.

Madame Serpent

Author: Jean Plaidy

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 145168620X

Category: Fiction

Page: 399

View: 6381


A fictional account of Catherine de' Medici, the fourteen-year-old reluctant Italian bride to the second son of the King of France, Henry, during the sixteenth-century.

Catherine de Medici

Author: Leonie Frieda

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 1780222602

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 544

View: 767


The bestselling revisionist biography of one of the great women of the 16th century Orphaned in infancy, Catherine de Medici was the sole legitimate heiress to the Medici family fortune. Married at fourteen to the future Henri II of France, she was constantly humiliated by his influential mistress Diane de Poitiers. When her husband died as a result of a duelling accident in Paris, Catherine was made queen regent during the short reign of her eldest son (married to Mary Queen of Scots and like many of her children he died young). When her second son became king she was the power behind the throne. She nursed dynastic ambitions, but was continually drawn into political and religious intrigues between Catholics and Protestants that plagued France for much of the later part of her life. It had always been said that she was implicated in the notorious Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre, together with the king and her third son who succeeded to the throne in 1574, but was murdered. Her political influence waned, but she survived long enough to ensure the succession of her son-in-law who had married her daughter Margaret.

Catherine de'Medici

Author: R J Knecht

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317896874

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 3052


Catherine de' Medici (1519-89) was the wife of one king of France and the mother of three more - the last, sorry representatives of the Valois, who had ruled France since 1328. She herself is of preeminent importance to French history, and one of the most controversial of all historical figures. Despised until she was powerful enough to be hated, she was, in her own lifetime and since, the subject of a "Black Legend" that has made her a favourite subject of historical novelists (most notably Alexandre Dumas, whose Reine Margot has recently had new currency on film). Yet there is no recent biography of her in English. This new study, by a leading scholar of Renaissance France, is a major event. Catherine, a neglected and insignificant member of the Florentine Medici, entered French history in 1533 when she married the son of Francis I for short-lived political reasons: her uncle was pope Clement VII, who died the following year. Now of no diplomatic value, Catherine was treated with contempt at the French court even after her husband's accession as Henry II in 1547. Even so, she gave him ten children before he was killed in a tournament in 1559. She was left with three young boys, who succeeded to the throne as Francis II (1559-60), Charles IX (1560-74) and Henry III (1574-89). As regent and queen-mother, a woman and with no natural power-base of her own, she faced impossible odds. France was accelerating into chaos, with political faction at court and religious conflict throughout the land. As the country disintegrated, Catherine's overriding concern was for the interests of her children. She was tireless in her efforts to protect her sons' inheritance, and to settle her daughters in advantageous marriages. But France needed more. Catherine herself was both peace-loving and, in an age of frenzied religious hatred, unbigoted. She tried to use the Huguenots to counterbalance the growing power of the ultra-Catholic Guises but extremism on all sides frustrated her. She was drawn into the violence. Her name is ineradicably associated with its culmination, the Massacre of St Bartholomew (24 August 1572), when thousands of Huguenots were slaughtered in Paris and elsewhere. To this day no-one knows for certain whether Catherine instigated the massacre or not, but here Robert Knecht explores the probabilities in a notably level-headed fashion. His book is a gripping narrative in its own right. It offers both a lucid exposition of immensely complex events (with their profound imact on the future of France), and also a convincing portrait of its enigmatic central character. In going behind the familiar Black Legend, Professor Knecht does not make the mistake of whitewashing Catherine; but he shows how intractable was her world, and how shifty or intransigent the people with whom she had to deal. For all her flaws, she emerges as a more sympathetic - and, in her pragmatism, more modern - figure than most of her leading contemporaries.