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The Devil's Queen: A Novel Of Catherine De Medici (2008)

by Jeanne Kalogridis(Favorite Author)
3.89 of 5 Votes: 1
0312368437 (ISBN13: 9780312368432)
St. Martin's Press
review 1: OK. Not great.Kalogridis did a reasonable job of writing an interesting book where the main character is thoroughly unlikeable. I know nothing about the history of this period, so I can't say anything about the accuracy of the story (although looking a Wikipedia, it looks like Kalogridis combined Henri III with Francis, Duc of Anjou.) To be honest, this was a bit of a slog.
review 2: Frieda Leonie has written an excellent history of Catherione de Medici based on deep research. I gave it 5 stars and highly recommend it to people interested in Catherine de Medici and the Valois lineage of French rulers. I have read a few reviews of Kalogridis's book on Goodreads and am afraid this historical novel (The Devil's Queen: A Novel of Catherine de Medici) may be close
... morer to a "Philippi Gregory" tale than to a historically based novel. At first, I decided not read it but to skim it. With the starting of the TV soap-opera casted and written program Reign, I decided to read this book and finally assigned it 3 stars.I finally read the novel, The Devil's Queen in November 2013. It is an interesting book and has much of the history of Friedo Leonie's book. The novel appears to be based on much of the documentation of this history with two large differences. In the novel, pages and pages are based on Catherine's meetings with astrologers and other students of magic throughout her life. In the history, it is barely mentioned and the characters of the astrologers and Nostrodamus are not mentioned. In the novel, the author says she only depicted 5 of the children because it would "take up too much space" to have the others born. Ironically, the Leonie history deals with the births and names of all Catherine's children on ONE PAGE.In contrast, Leonie's is a real history, full of facts, relationships, and events that filled the long life of Catherine de Medici who became queen (consort) of France's Henri II and then was the queen regent of three of their sons during the era of France's Religious Wars. Fortunately, there are numerous records, letters, and memoirs from this era. This Italian descendant of the de Medici family was hard to "marry off" in France because she was not of royal lineage, but from a "merchant family." The book begins with a summary of the Medici family but did not stress the contributions to the arts by the family, especially Lorenzo "The Magnificent." Catherine herself continued the family history of sponsoring the arts. Catherine de Medici was treated as an evil manipulative queen and she certainly was manipulative, including using her voice and statements to ingratiate herself when needed. Childless for 10 years, she then rapidly had 10 children and she made certain that her sons inherited the crown but she was the real ruler of France. As Freida portrayed her, the real period of evil was the Massacre on Saint Barthalomew's day in which Huguenots and Royal armies battled gruesomely under her rule. Prior to that time she had led to many treaties that were intended to pacify the land. Frieda distinguished the treaties that allowed for freedom of religion and, later in Catherine's reign, freedom of thought. While Catherine was regent during their youth, she continued to rule and advise her sons long after they reached a normal age of rule on their own (18 usually but "contracts" could set different ages). While her Catholicism would have led her to support Mary, Queen of Scots, she and England's Queen Elizabeth communicated quite often and with respect near the end of Catherine's life. I would urge anyone really interested in the Medici's, this era, and Catherine de Medici to read the interesting Frieda Leonie history rather than this novel. But for an overview that is not too much diverging from history, the Kalogridis novel is OK, in my judgment. It has enough untwisted "content" for 3 stars and the writing is interesting. less
Reviews (see all)
hard read and like one review said I wish I had a family tree to keep track of everybody.
It made me whana read more the Queen Margot by Alexandre Dumas
Heavy on fiction, light on history.
Interesting and fast moving story!
What a sad life
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