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 courting replaced the form in their tempestuous and unsafe century.

Set in outstanding Renaissance France, this is often the tale of 2 awesome ladies, a mom and daughter pushed into competition through a bad betrayal that threatened to ruin the realm.

Catherine de' Medici was once a ruthless pragmatist and powerbroker who ruled the throne for thirty years. Her youngest daughter Marguerite, the glamorous "Queen Margot," was once a passionate unfastened spirit, the single adversary whom her mom may 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 additionally a effective rival inside of her personal family.

Rich intimately and shiny prose, Goldstone's narrative unfolds as an exhilarating ancient epic. Treacherous court docket politics, poisonings, inter-national espionage, and adultery shape the history 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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No longer a superb omen. yet Catherine nonetheless had what she thought of to be her trump card—the convocation of the all-important basic council, which, she used to be confident, could unravel the kingdom’s non secular variations. The convention used to be scheduled to start on the finish of July within the city of Poissy, approximately fifteen miles northwest of Paris. Civil unrest rose precipitously within the months previous the development, which might be referred to as the Colloquy of Poissy. The violence was once perpetrated by means of each side. “In twenty towns, or approximately that quantity, the godly [Huguenots] were slaughtered by means of raging mobs,” Calvin famous grimly to his leader disciple, Théodore Beza, in a letter written in may well 1561. In Provence, enraged Protestants ransacked Catholic church buildings and destroyed relics in retaliation. The courtroom itself used to be divided simply as bitterly among the Catholic faction, represented through the Guises, and the Huguenot celebration, which searched for management to Coligny and the prince of Condé and to a lesser quantity Antoine (or a minimum of to Antoine’s spouse, Jeanne, a way more ambitious character than her husband). For Catherine, this used to be a simple selection. Coligny used to be priceless and respectful, and he sought after her to stay in energy. Antoine listened to him and have become even more malleable in his calls for. The Guises, nonetheless, had quickly recovered from the setback she had given them while Francis II died and have been quickly changing into their outdated conceited, unbearable, formidable selves. once they observed their impact ebbing, they accrued their allies opposed to her and went in the back of her again to bitch to the king of Spain and the pope. Catherine was once pressured to shield herself in a letter to her daughter Elizabeth. many years of pent-up fury burst forth during this communiqué. “I are looking to let you know it appears that evidently what's the fact, that each one this hassle has been for no different reason with the exception of the detest which this complete realm has for the Cardinal of Lorraine and the Duke of Guise,” the queen mom fumed. “You know the way they handled me throughout the time of the past due King, your brother… in the event that they have been in a position to do it, they might have appointed themselves to strength and might have left me to at least one facet. ” Antoine obtained his lieutenant-generalship, and the Guises surrender the courtroom in disgust. With the departure of the stated head of the Catholic social gathering, the Protestants won a level of impact over the royal relatives thoroughly out of percentage to their numbers within the basic inhabitants. The Huguenot management may perhaps hardly ever think its good fortune. The reform circulate had turn into trendy! a few of the queen mother’s ladies-in-waiting brazenly avowed the recent faith. Protestant preaching used to be allowed at court docket, Coligny was once constantly along with the younger Charles IX, and Huguenots have been admitted to the royal council. Catherine herself gave each indication that she was once actively contemplating conversion and was once sufficiently convinced of good fortune at Poissy to bait the duke of Guise in his personal citadel in the course of an impromptu stopover at a short while ahead of the scheduled colloquy.

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