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Catherine de'Medici (Profiles In Power)

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9780582082410: Catherine de'Medici (Profiles In Power)
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340p grey paperback, excellent copy, as new

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"far more readable than any of its predecessors...a crisp, no-nonsense political analysis"Ecclesiastal History

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Catherine de' Medici (1519-89) was the wife of one king of France and the mother of three more - the last, sorry representatives of the Valois, who had ruled France since 1328. She herself is of preeminent importance to French history, and one of the most controversial of all historical figures. Despised until she was powerful enough to be hated, she was, in her own lifetime and since, the subject of a "Black Legend" that has made her a favourite subject of historical novelists (most notably Alexandre Dumas, whose Reine Margot has recently had new currency on film). Yet there is no recent biography of her in English. This new study, by a leading scholar of Renaissance France, is a major event.

Catherine, a neglected and insignificant member of the Florentine Medici, entered French history in 1533 when she married the son of Francis I for short-lived political reasons: her uncle was pope Clement VII, who died the following year. Now of no diplomatic value, Catherine was treated with contempt at the French court even after her husband's accession as Henry II in 1547. Even so, she gave him ten children before he was killed in a tournament in 1559. She was left with three young boys, who succeeded to the throne as Francis II (1559-60), Charles IX (1560-74) and Henry III (1574-89).

As regent and queen-mother, a woman and with no natural power-base of her own, she faced impossible odds. France was accelerating into chaos, with political faction at court and religious conflict throughout the land. As the country disintegrated, Catherine's overriding concern was for the interests of her children. She was tireless in her efforts to protect her sons' inheritance, and to settle her daughters in advantageous marriages.

But France needed more. Catherine herself was both peace-loving and, in an age of frenzied religious hatred, unbigoted. She tried to use the Huguenots to counterbalance the growing power of the ultra-Catholic Guises but extremism on all sides frustrated her. She was drawn into the violence. Her name is ineradicably associated with its culmination, the Massacre of St Bartholomew (24 August 1572), when thousands of Huguenots were slaughtered in Paris and elsewhere. To this day no-one knows for certain whether Catherine instigated the massacre or not, but here Robert Knecht explores the probabilities in a notably level-headed fashion.

His book is a gripping narrative in its own right. It offers both a lucid exposition of immensely complex events (with their profound imact on the future of France), and also a convincing portrait of its enigmatic central character. In going behind the familiar Black Legend, Professor Knecht does not make the mistake of whitewashing Catherine; but he shows how intractable was her world, and how shifty or intransigent the people with whom she had to deal. For all her flaws, she emerges as a more sympathetic - and, in her pragmatism, more modern - figure than most of her leading contemporaries.

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9780582082427: Catherine de'Medici (Profiles In Power)

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Knecht, R J
Verlag: Routledge (1997)
ISBN 10: 0582082412 ISBN 13: 9780582082410
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Buchbeschreibung Befriedigend/Good: Durchschnittlich erhaltenes Buch bzw. Schutzumschlag mit Gebrauchsspuren, aber vollständigen Seiten. / Describes the average WORN book or dust jacket that has all the pages present. Artikel-Nr. M00582082412-G

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Knecht, R. J.:
Verlag: London, New York: Longman., (1998)
ISBN 10: 0582082412 ISBN 13: 9780582082410
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Buchbeschreibung Paperback. Zustand: Gut. XIV., 340 p., maps. From the library of Prof. Wolfgang Haase, long-time editor of ANRW and the International Journal of the Classical Tradition (IJCT). - sorted out library copy, slightly scuffed and rubbed otherwise perfect condition - Catherine de Medici (1519-89) was the wife of one king of France and the mother of three more - the last, sorry representatives of the Valois, who had ruled France since 1328. She herself is of preeminent importance to French history, and one of the most controversial of all historical figures. Despised until she was powerful enough to be hated, she was, in her own lifetime and since, the subject of a "Black Legend" that has made her a favourite subject of historical novelists (most notably Alexandre Dumas, whose Reine Margot has recently had new currency on film). Yet there is no recent biography of her in English. This new study, by a leading scholar of Renaissance France, is a major event. -- Catherine, a neglected and insignificant member of the Florentine Medici, entered French history in 1533 when she married the son of Francis I for short-lived political reasons: her uncle was pope Clement VII, who died the following year. Now of no diplomatic value, Catherine was treated with contempt at the French court even after her husband s accession as Henry II in 1547. Even so, she gave him ten children before he was killed in a tournament in 1559. She was left with three young boys, who succeeded to the throne as Francis II (1559-60), Charles IX (1560-74) and Henry III (1574-89). -- Daughter of Florence (1519-33) -- Florence and the Medici -- Pope Leo X (1513-21) -- Clement VII (1532-34) -- Dauphine (1533-47) -- The court of Francis I -- Difficult years -- The end of an era -- Queen of France (1547-59) -- The palace revolution of 1547 -- Henry II and Diane de Poitiers -- International affairs -- The growth of Protestantism -- The peace of Cateau-Cambresis (3 4 April 1559) -- Queen Mother (1559-62) -- The Tumult of Amboise (March 1560) -- The Fontainebleau assembly (August 1560) -- The minority of Charles IX -- The Colloquy of Poissy (September 1561) -- The Edict of January (17 January 1562) -- The massacre of Vassy (1 March 1562) -- War and peace (1562-66) -- Enforcing the peace -- Charles IX s majority declared -- The Grand Tour of the kingdom -- (March 1564-May 1566) ' -- The End of Compromise (1567-70) -- The Surprise de Meaux (27 September 1567) -- The peace of Longjumeau -- (22-23 March 1568) -- - Catherine and the Huguenots -- The Huguenot flight to La Rochelle -- The policy of elimination -- Moncontour (3 October 1569) -- The fall of Lorraine -- The peace of Saint-Germain (8 August 1570) -- The Phoney Peace (1570-72) -- Marriage plans -- The Dutch question -- Coligny s return to court (12 September 1571) -- Catherine and Jeanne d Albret -- The Genlis fiasco (17 July 1572) -- The attempted assassination of Coligny -- (22 August 1572) -- The Massacre of St. Bartholomew s Day -- (24 August 1572) -- The Black Legend -- The Favourite Son (1573-77) -- Anjou becomes king of Poland (10 May 1573) -- Two conspiracies at court -- Henry Ill s accession -- A divided family -- Alencon s escape (15 September 1575) -- The Holy League -- The Estates of Blois (December 1576- -- March 1577) -- The sixth war (1577) -- Peacemaker (1578-84) -- Anjou and the Dutch revolt -- Pacifying the South -- The Lovers War -- Duke of Brabant -- The Portuguese succession -- Anjou s discomfiture -- Family problems -- The death of Monsieur (10 June 1584) -- The New Artemisia -- The new Artemisia -- Catherine s buildings -- Literature and the theatre* -- Court jestivals -- Catherine as artcollector -- Apocalypse (1584-89) -- The peace of Nemours (7 July 1585) -- La Reine Margot -- Henry of Navarre -- The Day of the Barricades (12 May 1588) -- The Estates-General of Blois (1588). ISBN 9780582082410 Sprache: Englisch Gewicht in Gramm: 445. Artikel-Nr. 1165835

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