Catherine de Medici EBOOK Tooltip A Biography

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  • Engels
  • E-book
  • 9781780222608
  • december 2011
  • Adobe ePub
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The bestselling revisionist biography of one of the great women of the 16th century

Orphaned in infancy, Catherine de Medici was the sole legitimate heiress to the Medici family fortune. Married at fourteen to the future Henri II of France, she was constantly humiliated by his influential mistress Diane de Poitiers. When her husband died as a result of a duelling accident in Paris, Catherine was made queen regent during the short reign of her eldest son (married to Mary Queen of Scots and like many of her children he died young). When her second son became king she was the power behind the throne.

She nursed dynastic ambitions, but was continually drawn into political and religious intrigues between Catholics and Protestants that plagued France for much of the later part of her life. It had always been said that she was implicated in the notorious Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre, together with the king and her third son who succeeded to the throne in 1574, but was murdered. Her political influence waned, but she survived long enough to ensure the succession of her son-in-law who had married her daughter Margaret.


'This intelligent and well-researched biography of her is a worthy testament to Catherine's formidable strength. CATHERINE DE MEDICI reveals Frieda, a first-time biographer, to be a writer of tremendous talent and skill -- Amanda Foreman THE OBSERVER 'Leonie Frieda has handled the history of this complex period with skill. Without skimping on the drama and debauchery of the court of the Valois, she has defended, but not whitewashed, Catherine and produced a fascinating picture of a remarkable woman. -- Sarah Bradford THE EVENING STANDARD 'it is narrative history at its best, both scholarly and as captivating as a thriller. She has brought a largely forgotten heroine-villainess and a whole sumptuously vicious era to life again. She is equally at home in the luxurious debauchery of the royal court as she is in the blood-reeking gutters of Paris: this is The Godfather meets Elizabeth.' -- Simon Sebag Montefiore THE MAIL ON SUNDAY 'As Leonie Frieda shows in this absorbing biography, Catherine was a well-intentioned woman who resorted to extreme measures only under pressure. With its engaging style and deft handling of complex events, this accomplished account of Catherine's career is an engrossing tale, compellingly narrated.' -- Anne Somerset THE SPECTATOR 'As Leonie Frieda relates in this well-researched and immensely readable first biography, from her turbulent home in Florence Catherine found herself presiding over perhaps the nastiest period in all French history. Frieda is much to be praised for painting a wonderfully rich canvas.' -- Alistair Horne THE TIMES 'Frieda succeeds in making her subject interesting and coherent, and shows her operating in a political context that left no room for squeamishness or scruple.' -- Charles Nicholl THE SUNDAY TIMES 'Capably she re-creates the rivalries within the royal family and the marital and dynastic negotiaitons on which the fate of kingdoms hung. She conveys, too, vividly at times, the outsize style of Renaissance rule.' -- Blair Worden SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 'Mrs Frieda's book is a well-written and colourful journey through 16th century France, entertaining to read as well as frequently illuminating.' -- Simon Heffer COUNTRY LIFE 'A real historical treat.' SAINSBURY'S MAGAZINE 'This admirable new biography ... Leonie Frieda gives a vivid picture ... Leonie Frieda does this remarkable woman full justice. Refusing to play judge, she reveals her to us through the best of means, which is narrative. The skill with which Frieda finds her way through the maze of this confusing period is exemplary. You read on eagerly. An enthralling book.' -- Allan Massie LITERARY REVIEW 'This is a masterly biography, and a fascinating one' -- John Jolliffe THE INDEPENDENT 'Leonie Frieda has produced an absorbing, entertaining study of a time when the luxury and depravity of princes went hand-in-hand with power-plotting, assassination and bloody vengeance.' -- Peter Lewis THE DAILY MAIL 'An assured and genuinely gripping tale of a woman - 'the Black Queen' - who ruthlessly conspired in 16th-century France and battled against more adversities in a day than most of us have had in a lifetime.' -- Paul Palmer ES Magazine 'Leonie Frieda's richly detailed account ... paints a most fascinating picture of French court life. The political complexities are kept mercifully clear, the main lines of rivalry sharp, the characters vivid.' -- Ann Wroe THE DAILY TELEGRAPH 'In Frieda's scholarly tome, Catherine de Medici is painted not in the dark hues of her critics but using a more colourful palate. Through a prodigious amount of research, that was assisted by the author's versatility in five European languages, all the colour and splendour of Catherine's court is recreated.' -- Stephen McGinty THE SCOTSMAN 'It is a most excellent book that should be read by everybody who believes that education for its own sake has value, and that history in particular has cautionary tales to offer. ... The author paints a brilliant picture of the French court and of her subject's private life.' -- Claus von Bulow CATHOLIC HERALD 'impressively exhaustive' -- Sarah Dunant THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY 'Leonie Frieda has written a biography of scrupulous detail' -- Ethna Viney THE IRISH TIMES 'this is an interesting and well-written book that enlightens the reader about a turbulent and fascinating period which still arouses debate and disagreement.' -- David McLaurin THE TABLET 'this sympathetic and gloriously detailed biography.' -- Caroline Murphy NEW STATESMAN AND SOCIETY Leonie Frieda's description of events leading up to the St Bartholomew's Day Massacre are dramatic and fascinating - a real page-turner. Thoroughly recommended.' -- Tim Newark Military Illustrated 'An old-fashioned narrative historian, Frieda demonstrates a sure control of her material and combines passion and precision in equal measure. Her sprightly narrative is laced with cool and polished judgements.' -- Christopher Silvester THE FINANCIAL TIMES 'Leonie Frieda has produced a formidable book. Meticulously researched and extremely well-written, this surely will be the definitive biography of Catherine de Medici for many years to come.' -- Andrew Smith Medieval History Magazine 'Leonie Frieda makes a spirited case in a stimulating, exhaustively researched panorama of European history which is altogether wider in scope than anything normally viewed as biography.' -- Joseph Farrell THE HERALD 'Leonie Frieda has drawn together the elements of a complex story with great skill. Her style of narrative turns this book from a potentially turgid historical description into a very easily read and easily understood document. I recommend this volume highly.' Disability Times DISABILITY TIMES 'As compelling as a page-turning novel and full of colour and insight, this biography goes a long way in shedding light on a strong and fascinating woman.' -- Sally Zigmund THE HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW - Feb 2004

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    Geschreven bij Catherine de Medici

    Dit is het eerste boek van Leonie Frieda en wat mij betreft heeft ze bewezen dat ze een onderhoudende biografie schrijven kan. Ze schrijft over het leven van Catherine, de bankiersdochter die het tot koningin van Frankrijk brengt in een levendige, vlotte verteltrand. Het boek geeft tevens een duidelijk beeld van de zonen en dochters van Catherine en andere belangrijke leden van het hof. Je wordt echt teruggevoerd naar de zestiende eeuw, een echte aanrader!

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  • Niet alleen gifmengster dus.

    Geschreven bij Catherine De Medici

    Naast het feit dat dit boek in een prettige stijl geschreven is, vond ik het buitengewoon interessant om eens een andere kant van Catherine de Medici te leren kennen. Er zijn veel boeken over haar geschreven en het beeld dat mij uit andere publicaties is bijgebleven is dat Catherine de Medici voornamelijk een intrigante en gifmengster was. Leonie Frieda belichtte niet alleen het negatieve imago dat de Medici had, maar ook haar menselijke kant en de positieve invloed die zij op de franse maatschappij heeft gehad en stelt haar levensloop in het perspectief van de tijd waarin zij leefde.

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    1 0 Ongepaste review?



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Leonie Frieda
Weidenfeld & Nicolson

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