Catherine de Medici Renaissance Queen of France 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

  • Title: Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France
  • Author: Leonie Frieda
  • ISBN: 9780060744939
  • Page: 331
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 hPoisoner, 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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      331 Leonie Frieda
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      Published :2019-02-11T11:43:28+00:00

    One thought on “Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France”

    1. ‘I wonder that she did not do worse’I very much enjoyed this biography. Catherine deMedici is so often painted in the blackest of terms that it is actually a delight to read a more balanced account.This is a biography of Catherine de Medici (1519 -1589). Her husband became King Henri II of France, and three of their sons in their turn became Kings of France after Henri’s death in 1559. As Queen Mother, Catherine was both important and powerful in France for thirty years.Catherine was orpha [...]

    2. Catherine de Medici has always had a pretty bad historical reputation. Like pretty much all women who wielded even a little bit of power, she has been often portrayed as greedy, power-hungry, manipulative, and a general psycho bitch. Add that to the fact that she came from a family known for their Machiavellian power grabs (Machiavelli literally wrote the book on despotism for the Medici family), and then there's the little detail of one of the worst religious massacres in history happening on h [...]

    3. I'd read somewhere that Catherine de Medici introduced France to the concept of eating food with a fork. This was a detail I was hoping to learn more about when I started reading this rather huge and thorough book. There was little mention of forks, it turned out, but there were so many other rich and absorbing details, historical and personal, that this turned into an unexpectedly gripping read. History really came to life for me with this one, especially as it gave context to the Protestant mo [...]

    4. There is much more to Catherine de Medici than just her adversity to her husband’s popular mistress (Diane de Poitiers) or her involvement with the St. Bartholomew Day Massacre. Not only was she an important political figure for over 30 years; but she also has “fun facts” (such as introducing and popularizing nicotine, handkerchiefs, female pantaloons, forks, and side saddles) and had two VERY interesting children amongst her 10 (transvestite –tendency induced Henri III and independent b [...]

    5. This book was really rough for me to get through which, given the reviews and my fondness for historical biographies, was a surprise. It may be one of those cases that it just wasn't the right time for me to read this book. However, there was also a sort of bloodlessness and pedantry about the way the text read that was off-putting. The events were quite exciting, and sometimes even scandalous, but the dry tone of the narration put them at a remove and made them read like a textbook. Frieda also [...]

    6. 3.75 starsIn the 16th century, Catherine de Medici came to France from Italy to marry the future king of France, Henri II. She loved him, but had to share him with a mistress, the woman he loved, Diane de Poitiers. Over the years, Catherine and Henri had ten children and Catherine outlived all except two of them. Three of her sons became kings of France, and Catherine was always there to help them rule. There were a number of religious wars in France over the years she ruled. I’ve only read a [...]

    7. I enjoy learning about Catherine de Medici The wife of one King and the mother of 3. My only gripe about this book is it's too short as it's Abridged (eww). Great narration by Anna MasseyShe has the raspy voice like Davina Porter but not quiet as talented. ♥

    8. This is a real history, full of facts, relationships, and events that filled the long life of Catherine de Medici who became queen (consort) of France's Henri II and then was the queen regent of three of their sons during the era of France's Religious Wars. Fortunately, there are numerous records, letters, and memoirs from this era. This Italian descendant of the de Medici family was hard to "marry off" in France because she was not of royal lineage, but from a "merchant family." The book begins [...]

    9. I'd read a little about Catherine de Medici in passing when she was mentioned in other historical works, but I'd never read an entire biography. I'd read about her dark reputation and the whispers of her using witchcraft and poison but it was incredibly interesting to read about her as a person, not just a dark figure. She is painted in as dark a light as Richard III has been to English history, and it is refreshing to read a work that presents her in a more realistic way. Frieda accepts that Ca [...]

    10. I read this in its paper form and then again recently I listened to an excellent narration by Anna Massey. I liked the audio version better As this read well enough I felt Anna Massey had a wonderful pleasant voice with just enough lilt & inflections where it was as she was telling me personally the life of Catherine. The information in this bio was much more favorable to Catherine than many other bios leave out. So many paint her as a dark cold woman who even may have practiced witchcraft. [...]

    11. Jeden z najlepších (ak nie najlepší) a zároveň jeden z mála životopisov Kataríny Medicejskej v dostupnom jazyku. Komplexný, vychádza z prameňov, s dobrým poznámkovým aparátom, ktorý podľa mňa spĺňa to, čo poznámkový aparát spĺňať má - keď chcete vedieť viac, podľa odkazov sa viete dopátrať k ďalším textom či priamo prameňom (ja som to počas diplomky rozhodne robila :-)).Napriek tomu, že je to odborná kniha, číta sa veľmi dobre, pamätám si, že ma te [...]

    12. I love this re-telling of the life of Catherine de Medici - this was my third reading - and still happy to indulge my interest.

    13. I have been drawn to Catherine de Medici's story for some time. After reading Susan Carroll's fictional account of her in her Cheney Sisters books, I became even more interested in her. Catherine was a fascinating sixteenth century woman. She was the Italian-born Queen of France, wife of Henri II.Catherine Maria Romola di Lorenzo de Medici was born in Italy in 1519. She endured a lonely childhood, isolated in convents most of the time, exiled from her rightful place in her own country. Like many [...]

    14. Long, long ago in a youth far, far away, I read a biography of Catherine de Medici; so I was already familiar with her story. I have to admit, the details were hazy: I remembered something about poison, religious wars and that she was Mary, Queen of Scots’ mother-in-law. Then a couple of years ago, my husband and I took a biking vacation in the Loire valley and visited numerous castles and gardens along way, several associated with Catherine and her rival Diane de Poitiers; so I was reacquaint [...]

    15. From Publishers WeeklyIn 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 atten [...]

    16. Catherine de Medici was the daughter of a rich merchant, not born very rich since her parents were died. She was also of no royal blood. She was no beauty either. However, she did end up being one of the most famous Queens of France. She understood that she's no beauty and there was nothing she could do to change that,so she practiced on her manner, her elegancy, her way of speaking. All of those made it up for her. Moreover, she always acted humble. During the reign of her husband Henri II, she [...]

    17. A wonderfully written history and biography, this book was a highly entertaining presentation of the life of Catherine de Medici and her significance in French and European history. Frieda has taken an enormous body of research and used it to confirm and deny various pieces of the Queen’s reputation and record. In doing so, she reveals not only dates and lineages, but eccentricities of various royal personalities, the reality and cultural significance of their relationships, and the relevance [...]

    18. This book has more drama than Us Weekly and Star combined---and all of it is true. (Well, I am sure in the next life we'll discover parts that were not true, but that's for another day.)Catherine Medici, wife of a cheating king (who dies after a large splinter enters his eye) and mother of three kings of France, is best known for her involvement or lack of involvement (it's a complicated situation, especially since all of her solutions were for the moment) in the St. Bartholmew's Day Massacre in [...]

    19. A solid biography about Catherine de Medici, wife of Henri II of France, and mostly remembered for the part she played in the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre.Catherine is definitely a controversial figure, but Frieda always shows her in a very positive light (and sometimes she is too biased), focusing on her best qualities, like a lively intelligence and a strong resourcefulness. Despite how you feel about Catherine, you cannot deny she possessed formidable strenght and bravely faced many hard ch [...]

    20. After reading The Dark Queen, a historical fiction novel in which Catherine de Medici is portrayed as the titular dark queen and an evil witch, I was left wanting to know more about the historical basis for the story. In The Dark Queen Catherine is accused of everything from poisoning her rivals to employing beautiful seductresses to control her courtiers to engineering a massacre. This non-fiction account is largely intended to dispel such rumors and show what an impressive woman Catherine de M [...]

    21. Poignant, funny, at times a little bit chaotic. Spent reading all Summer on the beach of Sardegna and dreamt lazily of the brushes of velvet, dripping Huguenot blood and court intrigue. Reads a bit like a mix between Kitty Kell(e?)y and Alison Weir.

    22. I'll freely admit I picked this book up at the library for no reason other than Catherine de Medici is a playable leader in Civilization VI. Western European history past the early medieval period is usually outside my area of interest. But I'm happy I made the exception. In this biography, we see one of history's great women, who personally help France together through the religious turbulence of the mid-16th Century. We follow her from her early days as a daughter of Florence's ruling family, [...]

    23. Catherine de Medici has, over time, collected a long list of derogatory nicknames depicting her as a heartless villain for her regency in France. Using the book Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France, the author Leonie Frieda sets out to reintroduce Catherine in an unbiased and objective form by simply presenting the facts alongside anti-Catherine propaganda in the form of a historical biography. In doing so, Frieda hopes for the reader to see Catherine as she truly was; a courageous w [...]

    24. A rich, many layered biography, filled with details about the times of Catherine de Medici. It begins with the death of Henri II, only to go back to the peril and uncertainty of Catherine’s youth in Toscana. Her childhood parallels her future husband’s own grim time as a hostage of Spain, giving a satisfying amount of background detail on both of them. We readers travel with Catherine as she leaves for France to enjoy the court of Francois I, suffering in the shadow of Diane de Poitiers, the [...]

    25. An absolutely stellar read. Despite picking it up then not touching it for a few months due to circumstances, this was the most fascinating biography I’ve read yet. I’ve really been able to develop my opinions on this woman throughout this book, and it’s allowed me to consider further paths of study. The dear Margot and her letters have piqued my interest! Also the fact that perhaps it was due to Catherine that the French monarchy was secured until the French Revolution?! Fascinating. Well [...]

    26. Having done my dissertation on Catherine de'Medici, this book was not only extremely informative, but written in a way that engaged me, unlike some of the other books that I read surrounding Catherine de' Medici's life. The book paints Catherine in a much more favourable light, and has definite hints of showing the female POV that is seriously lacking in some of the other accounts of her life. If you are ever interested in reading about 'The Black Queen', I would definitely recommend this book.

    27. This is my very favorite genre (history) in my favorite country (France) in my favorite time period (Renaissance) and yet, I found myself struggling to finish this book. I did though, which is not common for me. If I don't like a book enough, I have no qualms about putting it down in favor for another. "Catherine De Medici" was interesting enough to continue with, but not my favorite book on the subject (which goes to Nancy Goldstone's "Rival Queens."

    28. After growing up virtually powerless as an orphan and prisoner, Catherine grows up to wield So Much Power while defending the Valois line. This book covers a long (and to me sort of boring, at least in this book) period of French history with something like 9 wars of religion. While the content is good (4), the delivery underwhelms (3). It was more difficult than usual to finish this.

    29. I really enjoyed this book. The subject matter is of course, great, but it was well-written and engagingly so. The bibliography is complete which is important to me in non-fiction in addition to having a good flow that is factual, but not dry. An incredibly interesting woman and time-period.

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