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Catherine de' Medici

The Life and Times of the Serpent Queen

«Hollingsworth's knowledge of Catherine's life, as well as her mastery of Italian history, enables her to portray Catherine as the true European Renaissance queen she was ... This expert biography reveals Catherine as a woman of virtue, loyalty and, ultimately, power ... Hollingsworth's eloquent prose and fine research sheds light on a Renaissance queen who truly deserves to be remembered as such.»

Estelle Peranque, BBC History Magazine

A new biography of Catherine de' Medici, the most powerful woman in sixteenth-century Europe, whose author uses neglected primary sources to recreate the life and times of a remarkable – and remarkably traduced – woman. Les mer

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A new biography of Catherine de' Medici, the most powerful woman in sixteenth-century Europe, whose author uses neglected primary sources to recreate the life and times of a remarkable – and remarkably traduced – woman.

History is rarely kind to women of power, but few have had their reputations quite so brutally shredded as Catherine de’ Medici, Italian-born queen of France and influential mother of three successive French kings during that country’s long sequence of sectarian wars in the second half of the sixteenth century. Thanks to the malign efforts of propagandists motivated by religious hatred, history tends to remember Catherine as a schemer who used witchcraft and poison to eradicate her rivals, as a spendthrift dilettante who wasted ruinous sums of money on building and embellishment of monuments and palaces, and most sinister of all, as instigator of the St Bartholomew’s Day massacre of 1572, in which thousands of innocent Protestants were slaughtered by Catholic mobs.

Mary Hollingsworth delves into contemporary archives to discover deeper truths behind these persistent myths. The correspondence of diplomats and Catherine’s own letters reveal a woman who worked tirelessly to find a way for Catholics and Protestants to coexist in peace (a goal for which she continued to strive until the end of her life), who was well-informed on both literary and scientific matters, and whose patronage of the arts helped bring into being glorious châteaux and gardens, priceless work of art, and magnificent festivities combining theatre, music and ballet, which display the grandeur of the French court.

Detaljer

Forlag
Apollo
Innbinding
Innbundet
Språk
Engelsk
Sider
480
ISBN
9781800244764
Utgivelsesår
2024
Format
23 x 15 cm

Om forfatteren

Mary Hollingsworth is a scholar of the Italian Renaissance and the author of The Medici, which was widely praised on its publication by Head of Zeus in 2017, and Princes of the Renaissance, published in 2021. Her other books include The Cardinal's Hat, The Borgias: History's Most Notorious Dynasty and Patronage in Renaissance Italy: From 1400 to the Early Sixteenth Century.

Anmeldelser

«Hollingsworth's knowledge of Catherine's life, as well as her mastery of Italian history, enables her to portray Catherine as the true European Renaissance queen she was ... This expert biography reveals Catherine as a woman of virtue, loyalty and, ultimately, power ... Hollingsworth's eloquent prose and fine research sheds light on a Renaissance queen who truly deserves to be remembered as such.»

Estelle Peranque, BBC History Magazine

«This book is a treat for fans of well-told history»

Washington Post

«Praise for The Medici: This forensic study of the Renaissance banking dynasty conjures up a world of art, literature, philosophy – and brutality - Telegraph, Book of the Year Likely to become the standard work of reference on the members of the family that dominated Florence - TLS A lucid and beautifully illustrated family history - The Times, Book of the Week A vital acquisition for anyone who studies the Renaissance and seeks the true role of the Medici in the history of Florence»

Kirkus

«At last an authoritative English biography of this most powerful and fascinating of queens of France. Mary Hollingsworth uses her unique knowledge of the Medici and Italian sources to illuminate this queen torn between rival dynasties and religions, tolerance and fanaticism, ballets and massacres. To be devoured.»

Philip Mansel, author of King of the World: The Life of Louis XIV

«Thoroughly engaging, a tour de force of scholarship that tells the story of Catherine de' Medici as it should be told.»

Josephine Wilkinson, author of Louis XIV

«Mary Hollingsworth exhibits her trademark blend of meticulous scholarship and narrative verve – this time incorporating some fascinating new material to reinforce her skilful re-reading of Catherine's character. Highly recommended, and highly readable.»

Paul Strathern, author of The Medici

«A nuanced and sympathetic portrait that does much to unpick the black legend woven by Catherine’s detractors and reveals how she used all her tenacity, resourcefulness and guile to try and bring peace to a nation torn apart by sectarian hatred and vicious rivalries.»

Anne Somerset, author of The Affair of the Poisons

«Thoroughly researched ... Hollingsworth [makes] a compelling case that Catherine was not just a leading light of the French Renaissance but an unfairly maligned figure, whose foreignness and femininity made her an easy scapegoat»

Katherine Harvey, Sunday Times

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