Although she was one of the most powerful women of the 16th Century, Catherine de Medici remains a mystery to most English speaking readers who, if they know her at all, would probably only do so because her involvement in the infamous St Bartholomew's Day massacre. But like many other figures of history, Catherine's life was multi-layered and full of personal tragedy. This biography does much to bring her closer to the modern reader and allows us some insight into events which shaped her life. It is well written and readable, though admittedly, I would have liked a little more detail of her early life in Italy.
Whether you come away liking or loathing her, it has to be admitted that she was a survivor, clawing her way to power in much the same way as our own Queen Elizabeth I. Her story is both fascinating and repugnant at the same time and this book will certainly please anyone who has an interest in European history.