Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen Of France

Catherine de Medici is a legendary figure known as a despotic queen that poisoned anyone who got in her way. In this biography, Frieda claims that these legends that have grown around Catherine are unjust. She is portrayed as a skilled ruler that must face great odds during her reign. She grew up in Florence, and married the dauphin of France. She must fight to protect her throne, and then her son's.

I had been wanting to read more about Catherine de Medici for a while, and I was interested in this book as it claims to refute some of the popular stories about her. I did learn new things, but I had a difficult time really getting into this book. It was very dry, and did not engage me in her life. I would have liked a more compelling account of this well known figure.

To me, this biography was more a history of the events Catherine lived through, and she just happened to be the character chosen to illustrate those events. I would have liked to have more focus on her, as the reason I read the book was to learn more about her. I liked learning more about her husband and son, but their stories should not have overtaken Catherine's.

I will say it was a well researched book. I think it could have been presented in a more engaging way, and should have been written to focus more on Catherine who is suppose to be the subject of the book. There were a lot of details that were interesting, and I think people wanting to read a more general view of France during her reign will like this book.

If you are interested in French history, maybe try this book.

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