When her husband died as a result of a duelling accident in Paris - Leonie Frieda's magnificent, throat-grabbing opening chapter - Catherine was made queen regent during the short reign of her eldest son. (He was 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.
Leonie Frieda has returned to original sources and re-read the thousands of letters left by Catherine. There has not been a biography in English of Catherine for many years, and she believes that the time has come to show her as one of the most influential women in 16th-century Europe.
©2003 Leonie Frieda; (P)2005 Orion Publishing Group Ltd
"Leonie Frieda tells an enthralling story that includes incest, vicious religious wars, assassination, poison, the occult and, in Catherine's own words, 'passion, hatred and vengeance'." (Options XIII)
"wonderful book beautifully read"
This book is a pleasure to listen to. Catherine de Medici and the other characters are interesting and presented in fascinating detail and full colour. It is a scholarly work but accessible to all - full marks to Leonie Frieda. Anna Massey's reading is perfect. Some readers have voices which are difficult to listen to hour after hour and some struggle with foreign words, but Anna Massey is easy on the ear and - so important - her French and Italian pronunciations are spot on. This is one of my favourite audiobooks.
"An Amazing Woman!"
This biography of Catherine De Medici takes you to the centre of life in the 16th century. Anna Massey is excellent as a narrator as she guides through the trials and tribulations of Catherine's life from a child to her death.
I thoroughly recommend it!
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