Women of power

the life and times of Catherine dé Medici
Author: Mark Strage
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P
ISBN: N.A
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 368
View: 6717
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Catherine de Medici

Renaissance Queen of France
Author: Leonie Frieda
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0060744936
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 464
View: 3064
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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.

Catherine de'Medici


Author: R J Knecht
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317896866
Category: History
Page: 352
View: 6387
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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

The Power Behind the French Throne
Author: N.A
Publisher: Capstone
ISBN: 9780756515812
Category: Juvenile Nonfiction
Page: 112
View: 4318
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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 Devil's Queen

A Novel of Catherine de Medici
Author: Jeanne Kalogridis
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9781429984317
Category: Fiction
Page: 480
View: 7351
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From Jeanne Kalogridis, the bestselling author of I, Mona Lisa and The Borgia Bride, comes a new novel that tells the passionate story of a queen who loved not wisely . . . but all too well. Confidante of Nostradamus, scheming mother-in-law to Mary, Queen of Scots, and architect of the bloody St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, Catherine de Medici is one of the most maligned monarchs in history. In her latest historical fiction, Jeanne Kalogridis tells Catherine's story—that of a tender young girl, destined to be a pawn in Machiavellian games. Born into one of Florence's most powerful families, Catherine was soon left a fabulously rich heiress by the early deaths of her parents. Violent conflict rent the city state and she found herself imprisoned and threatened by her family's enemies before finally being released and married off to the handsome Prince Henry of France. Overshadowed by her husband's mistress, the gorgeous, conniving Diane de Poitiers, and unable to bear children, Catherine resorted to the dark arts of sorcery to win Henry's love and enhance her fertility—for which she would pay a price. Against the lavish and decadent backdrop of the French court, and Catherine's blood-soaked visions of the future, Kalogridis reveals the great love and desire Catherine bore for her husband, Henry, and her stark determination to keep her sons on the throne.

Madame Serpent

A Catherine de'
Author: Jean Plaidy
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451686218
Category: Fiction
Page: 416
View: 4016
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Fourteen-year-old Catherine de’ Medici arrives in Marseilles to marry Henry, Duke of Orleans, second son of the King of France. The brokenhearted Catherine has left her true love in Italy, forced into trading her future happiness for marriage into the French royal family. Amid the glittering fêtes and banquets of the most immoral court in sixteenth-century Europe, the reluctant bride becomes a passionate but unwanted wife. Humiliated and unloved, Catherine spies on Henry and his lover, the infamous Diane de Poitiers. Tortured by what she sees, Catherine becomes consumed by a ruthless ambition destined to make her the most despised woman in France: the dream that one day the French crown will be worn by a Medici heir. . . .

The Rival Queens

Catherine de' Medici, Her Daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal that Ignited a Kingdom
Author: Nancy Goldstone
Publisher: Little, Brown
ISBN: 0316409677
Category: History
Page: 448
View: 9506
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The riveting true story of mother-and-daughter queens Catherine de' Medici and Marguerite de Valois, whose wildly divergent personalities and turbulent relationship changed the shape of their tempestuous and dangerous century. Set in magnificent Renaissance France, this is the story of two remarkable women, a mother and daughter driven into opposition by a terrible betrayal that threatened to destroy the realm. Catherine de' Medici was a ruthless pragmatist and powerbroker who dominated the throne for thirty years. Her youngest daughter Marguerite, the glamorous "Queen Margot," was a passionate free spirit, the only adversary whom her mother could neither intimidate nor control. When Catherine forces the Catholic Marguerite to marry her Protestant cousin Henry of Navarre against her will, and then uses her opulent Parisian wedding as a means of luring his followers to their deaths, she creates not only savage conflict within France but also a potent rival within her own family. Rich in detail and vivid prose, Goldstone's narrative unfolds as a thrilling historical epic. Treacherous court politics, poisonings, inter-national espionage, and adultery form the background to a story that includes such celebrated figures as Elizabeth I, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Nostradamus. The Rival Queens is a dangerous tale of love, betrayal, ambition, and the true nature of courage, the echoes of which still resonate.

Duchessina

A Novel of Catherine de' Medici
Author: Carolyn Meyer
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 0547539037
Category: Young Adult Fiction
Page: 272
View: 3368
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Young Catherine de' Medici is the sole heiress to the entire fortune of the wealthy Medici family. But her life is far from luxurious. After a childhood spent locked away behind the walls of a convent, she joins the household of the pope, where at last she can be united with her true love. But, all too soon, that love is replaced with an engagement to a boy who is cold and aloof. It soon becomes clear that Catherine will need all the cunning she can muster to command the respect she deserves as one of France's most powerful queens. Includes a family tree.

Catherine de' Medici


Author: Honoré de Balzac
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: N.A
Category:
Page: N.A
View: 8987
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Scandal and Reputation at the Court of Catherine de Medici


Author: Una McIlvenna
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 131705931X
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 234
View: 9830
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Scandal and Reputation at the Court of Catherine de Medici explores Catherine de Medici's 'flying squadron', the legendary ladies-in-waiting of the sixteenth-century French queen mother who were alleged to have been ordered to seduce politically influential men for their mistress's own Machiavellian purposes. Branded a 'cabal of cuckoldry' by a contemporary critic, these women were involved in scandals that have encouraged a perception, which continues in much academic literature, of the late Valois court as debauched and corrupt. Rather than trying to establish the guilt or innocence of the accused, Una McIlvenna here focuses on representations of the scandals in popular culture and print, and on the collective portrayal of the women in the libelous and often pornographic literature that circulated information about the court. She traces the origins of this material to the all-male intellectual elite of the parlementaires: lawyers and magistrates who expressed their disapproval of Catherine's political and religious decisions through misogynist pamphlets and verse that targeted the women of her entourage. Scandal and Reputation at the Court of Catherine de Medici reveals accusations of poisoning and incest to be literary tropes within a tradition of female defamation dating to classical times that encouraged a collective and universalizing notion of women as sexually voracious, duplicitous and, ultimately, dangerous. In its focus on manuscript and early print culture, and on the transition from a world of orality to one dominated by literacy and textuality, this study has relevance for scholars of literary history, particularly those interested in pamphlet and libel culture.

Francis I

The Maker of Modern France
Author: Leonie Frieda
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
ISBN: 1474605583
Category: History
Page: 512
View: 8020
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Francis I (1494-1547) was inconstant, amorous, hot-headed and flawed. Yet he was also arguably the most significant king that France ever had. This is his story. A contemporary of Henry VIII of England, Francis saw himself as the first Renaissance king, a man who was the exemplar of courtly and civilised behaviour throughout Europe. A courageous and heroic warrior, he was also a keen aesthete, an accomplished diplomat and an energetic ruler who turned his country into a force to be reckoned with. Yet he was also capricious, vain and arrogant, taking hugely unnecessary risks, at least one of which nearly resulted in the end of his kingdom. His great feud with his nemesis Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, defined European diplomacy and sovereignty, but his notorious alliance with the great Ottoman ruler Suleiman the Magnificent threatened to destroy everything. With access to never-before-seen private archives, Leonie Frieda's comprehensive and sympathetic account explores the life of the most human of all Renaissance monarchs - and the most enigmatic.

The Maid and the Queen

The Secret History of Joan of Arc
Author: Nancy Goldstone
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101561297
Category: History
Page: 320
View: 2581
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“Attention, ‘Game of Thrones’ fans: The most enjoyably sensational aspects of medieval politics—double-crosses, ambushes, bizarre personal obsessions, lunacy and naked self-interest—are in abundant evidence in Nancy Goldstone's The Maid and the Queen.” (Laura Miller, Salon.com) Politically astute, ambitious, and beautiful, Yolande of Aragon, queen of Sicily, was one of the most powerful women of the Middle Ages. Caught in the complex dynastic battle of the Hundred Years War, Yolande championed the dauphin's cause against the forces of England and Burgundy, drawing on her savvy, her statecraft, and her intimate network of spies. But the enemy seemed invincible. Just as French hopes dimmed, an astonishingly courageous young woman named Joan of Arc arrived from the farthest recesses of the kingdom, claiming she carried a divine message-a message that would change the course of history and ultimately lead to the coronation of Charles VII and the triumph of France. Now, on the six hundredth anniversary of the birth of Joan of Arc, this fascinating book explores the relationship between these two remarkable women, and deepens our understanding of this dramatic period in history. How did an illiterate peasant girl gain access to the future king of France, earn his trust, and ultimately lead his forces into battle? Was it only the hand of God that moved Joan of Arc-or was it also Yolande of Aragon?

Dairy Queens


Author: Meredith Martin
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674048997
Category: Architecture
Page: 328
View: 1831
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Though Meredith Martin is primarily an art historian, this book goes way beyond art history. It examines “pleasure dairies,” built by the French aristocracy to be sites of leisure, healing, and simple luxury, from the vantage point of cultural studies as well as social and political history. The traditional historical narrative, still deeply resonant, is that these dairies were little more than frivolous excess or attempts to imagine “common life” by people so wealthy they could not even imagine poverty. But Martin complicates this picture. She examines the social, cultural, and political uses of these dairies, showing that they were in fact instrumental as sites that both reinforced and challenged definitions of femininity. The dairies provided strategic venues for noble women to assert their status and identity while at the same time appearing to retreat from power. They served the functions of a spa, where fresh milk and beautiful scenery helped women recover their health. They also are tangible evidence of the new valorization of country living, which was expressed also in political debates about improving the countryside and reforming the aristocracy, especially elite women.

The Serpent and the Moon

Two Rivals for the Love of a Renaissance King
Author: Princess Michael of Kent,Michael Of Kent Princess
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0743251067
Category: History
Page: 432
View: 9132
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An intriguing study of a royal love triangle captures the complex relationships that existed between King Henri II of France, his wife Catherine de Medici, and his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, examining the impact of the love story on the history of Renaissance France. Reprint. 60,000 first printing.

Beware, Princess Elizabeth

A Young Royals Book
Author: Carolyn Meyer
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 0547940629
Category: Young Adult Fiction
Page: 224
View: 4347
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Imprisonment. Betrayal. Lost love. Murder. What more must a princess endure? Elizabeth Tudor's teenage and young adult years during the turbulent reigns of Edward and then Mary Tudor are hardly those of a fairy-tale princess. Her mother has been beheaded by Elizabeth's own father, Henry VIII; her jealous half sister, Mary, has her locked away in the Tower of London; and her only love interest betrays her in his own quest for the throne. Told in the voice of the young Elizabeth and ending when she is crowned queen, this second novel in the exciting series explores the relationship between two sisters who became mortal enemies. Carolyn Meyer has written an intriguing historical tale that reveals the deep-seated rivalry between a determined girl who became one of England's most powerful monarchs and the sister who tried everything to stop her.

Madame Catherine


Author: Irene Mahoney
Publisher: Orion
ISBN: N.A
Category: Queens
Page: 381
View: 601
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Hero or Tyrant? Henry III, King of France, 1574-89


Author: Professor Robert J Knecht
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 147242932X
Category: History
Page: 370
View: 942
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King Henry III of France has not suffered well at the hands of posterity. Generally depicted as at best a self-indulgent, ineffectual ruler, and at worst a debauched tyrant responsible for a series of catastrophic political blunders, his reputation has long been a poor one. Yet recent scholarship has begun to question the validity of this judgment and look for a more rounded assessment of the man and his reign. For, as this new biography of Henry demonstrates, there is far more to this fascinating monarch than the pantomime villain depicted by previous generations of historians and novelists. Based upon a rich and diverse range of primary sources, this book traces Henry’s life from his birth in 1551, the sixth child of Henri II and Catherine de’ Medici. It following his upbringing as the Wars of Religion began to tear France apart, his election as king of Poland in 1573, and his assumption of the French crown a year later following the death of his brother Charles IX. The first English-language biography of Henry for over 150 years, this study thoroughly and dispassionately reassesses his life in light of recent scholarship and in the context of broader European diplomatic, political and religious history. In so doing the book not only provides a more nuanced portrait of the monarch himself, but also helps us better understand the history of France during this traumatic time.

The Italian Woman

A Catherine de' Medici Novel
Author: Jean Plaidy
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451686536
Category: Fiction
Page: 400
View: 2879
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From the grande dame of historical fiction, the second novel in the classic trilogy—back in print after more than twenty years—brilliantly depicts the life of the powerful Queen who was loved by few and feared by many. The second book in the classic Catherine de’ Medici trilogy from Jean Plaidy, the grande dame of historical fiction When Catherine de’ Medici was forced to marry Henry, Duke of Orleans, her heart was not the only one that was broken. Jeanne of Navarre once dreamed of marrying this same prince, but, like Catherine, she must comply with France’s political needs. And so both Catherine’s and Jeanne’s lives are set on unwanted paths, destined to cross in affairs of state, love, and faith, driving them to become deadly political rivals. Years later Jeanne is happily married to the dashing but politically inept Antoine de Bourbon. But the widowed Catherine is now the ambitious mother of princes, and she will do anything to see her beloved second son, Henry, rule France. As civil war ravages the country and Jeanne fights for the Huguenot cause, Catherine advances along her unholy road, making enemies at every turn.

Apollo's Angels

A History of Ballet
Author: Jennifer Homans
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0679603905
Category: Performing Arts
Page: 672
View: 7873
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NATIONAL BESTSELLER For more than four hundred years, the art of ballet has stood at the center of Western civilization. Its traditions serve as a record of our past. Lavishly illustrated and beautifully told, Apollo’s Angels—the first cultural history of ballet ever written—is a groundbreaking work. From ballet’s origins in the Renaissance and the codification of its basic steps and positions under France’s Louis XIV (himself an avid dancer), the art form wound its way through the courts of Europe, from Paris and Milan to Vienna and St. Petersburg. In the twentieth century, émigré dancers taught their art to a generation in the United States and in Western Europe, setting off a new and radical transformation of dance. Jennifer Homans, a historian, critic, and former professional ballerina, wields a knowledge of dance born of dedicated practice. Her admiration and love for the ballet, asEntertainment Weekly notes, brings “a dancer’s grace and sure-footed agility to the page.” NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW • LOS ANGELES TIMES • SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE • PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

Magnifico

The Brilliant Life and Violent Times of Lorenzo De' Medici
Author: Miles Unger
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0743254341
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 513
View: 7385
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Recounts the life of Lorenzo de' Medici, the Florentine banker, statesman, and arts patron, and includes his competitive and at times violent career in politics.