The Rival Queens: Catherine de' Medici, Her Daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal that Ignited a Kingdom

By Nancy Goldstone

The riveting actual tale of mother-and-daughter queens Catherine de' Medici and Marguerite de Valois, whose wildly divergent personalities and turbulent dating replaced the form in their tempestuous and hazardous century.

Set in exceptional Renaissance France, this can be the tale of 2 outstanding ladies, a mom and daughter pushed into competition by way of a bad betrayal that threatened to smash the realm.

Catherine de' Medici used to be a ruthless pragmatist and powerbroker who ruled the throne for thirty years. Her youngest daughter Marguerite, the glamorous "Queen Margot," was once a passionate loose spirit, the single adversary whom her mom may well neither intimidate nor control.

When Catherine forces the Catholic Marguerite to marry her Protestant cousin Henry of Navarre opposed to her will, after which makes use of her opulent Parisian marriage ceremony as a way of luring his fans to their deaths, she creates not just savage clash inside France but in addition a powerful rival inside of her personal family.

Rich intimately and shiny prose, Goldstone's narrative unfolds as an exhilarating old epic. Treacherous court docket politics, poisonings, inter-national espionage, and adultery shape the historical past to a narrative that incorporates such celebrated figures as Elizabeth I, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Nostradamus. The Rival Queens is a perilous story of affection, betrayal, ambition, and the real nature of braveness, the echoes of which nonetheless resonate.

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For via the autumn of 1567, Catherine had develop into so estranged from her former allies, quite Admiral Coligny and the prince of Condé, that she not just thought of them partisan adversaries, she was once actively looking their destruction. it really is most unlikely TO overstate the measure of Huguenot paranoia and distrust that have been engendered by means of Catherine’s disastrous assembly with the duke of Alva. Pointedly excluded from the negotiation, the Protestants have been decreased to hoping on spies and innuendo for intelligence. the knowledge accumulated by means of those equipment used to be frustratingly imprecise, however the complacent perspective of the Spanish within the weeks following the summit indicated that anything of import have been made up our minds among the queen mom and her son-in-law and, figuring out Philip, that this is able to in basic terms be harmful to their reason. Rumors of an contract among the French and the Spanish to exterminate these of the reformed faith abounded and unfold fast during the state. those fears basically escalated while, following the Bayonne assembly, Protestant worshippers within the Netherlands, who have been supported of their quest for spiritual freedom by means of their Huguenot opposite numbers in France, rebelled opposed to Spain, whereupon Philip introduced his purpose of sending a big army strength below the management of the duke of Alva to place down the rebel. since it was once tough to get to the Netherlands from both Spain or Italy (where the duke of Alva used to be busy recruiting troops) with no dealing with France, Philip requested Catherine to authorize a secure passage for his military in order that they may perhaps expedite the march north. This was once the entire corroboration the Huguenots wanted of a conspiracy opposed to them. To them, it was once seen that Philip’s request used to be only a trick to trap them off guard—that the true Spanish army aim was once to invade France and wipe out their stream. even supposing Catherine denied Philip’s petition, she regrettably additionally employed a contingent of six thousand Swiss mercenaries to complement the royal safeguard. much more disturbingly, she restored the Guises, and specifically the cardinal of Lorraine, the top of the Catholic get together, to prefer. The Protestants observed this as affirmation of a coordinated scheme opposed to them, and they, too, started plotting and mobilizing for battle as a protecting degree. Catherine’s keep in mind of the cardinal of Lorraine to courtroom is usually mentioned as facts of the queen mother’s subtle Machiavellian method, the planned taking part in off of 1 political faction opposed to the opposite as a fashion of securing her personal place, yet in truth it was once not anything of the sort. Catherine didn't wish to revive her previous enemy to energy, yet she had no selection. She was once determined. The duke of Alva’s military scared her up to it did the Huguenots. She couldn’t make sure Philip wasn’t meaning to use it opposed to her. whereas the Spanish soldiers—all 16 thousand of them—would no longer be marching via France, they'd be passing correct alongside its jap border, and naturally there stands out as the huge, immense temptation, as long as they have been within the area besides, to stray over into French territory and take what they can get.

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