Catherine De Medici

Catherine De Medici : A Biography

3.94 (4,467 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


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 more

Product details

  • Paperback | 544 pages
  • 130 x 190 x 40mm | 479.99g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 24, 4 maps
  • 0753820390
  • 9780753820391
  • 166,433

Review quote

'well-written and engaging.' -- Sally Cousins THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 'this dense often funny account... it is full of choice details.' -- Robbie Hudson THE SUNDAY TIMES 'It's a tale of poisonings, duels, black magic and incest that Frieda does full justice to in this detailed by colourful study' -- Simon Beckett THE OBSERVER 'a scholarly yet immensely readable biography.' WATERSTONE'S QUARTERLY 'she's written a history book that has al the pace and excitement of a novel, a rare achievement indeed.' CHOICE 'it is skilfully written and on balance sympathetic to Catherine's stewardship.' -- Owen Dawson THE IRISH TIMESshow more

About Leonie Frieda

Swedish by birth, but educated in Britain, Leonie Frieda speaks five languages and is a member of the Institute of Linguists. Her long interest in Catherine de Medici resulted in a biography that was a bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic and was translated into six languages. She is now working on a composite biography of six renaissance women. She lives in London with her daughter Elisabeth and son Jake. more

Rating details

4,467 ratings
3.94 out of 5 stars
5 34% (1,512)
4 36% (1,598)
3 23% (1,042)
2 5% (224)
1 2% (91)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X