Biographies & Memoirs

Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France

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 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.

Maps, Family Trees



PROLOGUE: Death of a King 1559

Chapter 1: Orphan of Florence 1519–33

Chapter 2: ‘The Greatest Match in the World’ 1515–34

Chapter 3: A Barren Wife 1533–47

Chapter 4: The Eclipsed Consort 1547–49

Chapter 5: Catherine’s Growing Importance 1548–59

Chapter 6: An Uneasy Partnership 1559–60

Chapter 7: ‘Gouvernante de France’ 1560–62

Chapter 8: The First Religious War 1562–64

Chapter 9: The Grand Tour 1564–66

Chapter 10: Conciliator No Longer 1566–70

Chapter 11: Margot’s Marriage Is Arranged 1570–72

Chapter 12: The Massacre 1572

Chapter 13: The Last Years of Charles IX 1572–74

Chapter 14: Henri III, King of France 1574–76

Chapter 15: Alençon’s Treachery 1576–84

Chapter 16: Hope Dies 1584–88

Chapter 17: So Perish the Race of the Valois 1588–1615




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