Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France

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9780060744939: Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France
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Poisoner, despot, necromancer -- 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 to reveal a skilled ruler battling extraordinary political and personal odds -- from a troubled childhood in Florence to her marriage to Henry, son of King Francis I of France; from her transformation of French culture to her fight to protect her throne and her sons' birthright. Based on thousands of private letters, it is a remarkable account of one of the most influential women ever to wear a crown.

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About the Author:

Leonie Frieda is the author of a bestselling biography of Catherine de Medici and The Deadly Sisterhood: A Story of Women, Power and Intrigue in the Italian Renaissance. She lives in London.

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In 1533, 14-year-old Catherine de Medici arrived in France to marry the future king Henri II; over the next 16 years, she endured the dominance of Henri's mistress, Diane de Poitiers, and the disdain of courtiers for her family's merchant background. The sudden death of Henri launched Catherine into three decades as regent and chief adviser to three sons who ruled in succession. Frieda navigates the twists and turns of the French royal court and family with particular attention to the formation of Catherine's political skills. From her lonely childhood as a tool in the diplomacy of her powerful uncles to her carefully cultivated relationship with her father-in-law and maneuvering through shifting family alliances, the queen learned self-possession, deception and strategy. While Catherine has been maligned for her role in France's wars of religion and in particular the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, Frieda argues that Catherine attempted to reach compromise in the religious strife of her adopted country. While trying to flesh out Catherine, Frieda occasionally paints others with a too-broad brush. At times, her descriptions of Catherine's actions as emotionally or politically motivated seem arbitrary. But Frieda's portrait of Catherine is multifaceted, and her presentation of the complicated narrative of five tumultuous reigns is compelling.
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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780060744922: Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France

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ISBN 10:  0060744928 ISBN 13:  9780060744922
Publisher: Harper, 2005
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9780753820391: Catherine de Medici: A Biography

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9781842124826: [Catherine De Medici: A Biography] (By: Leonie Frieda) [published: January, 2005]

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