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The Confessions of Catherine de Medici Paperback – 6 Jan 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (6 Jan. 2011)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0340962976
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340962978
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 244,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

C.W. Gortner is half-Spanish by birth and his formative years were spent in southern Spain, where his lifelong fascination with history began. After years of working as a fashion marketer and editor, C.W. returned to college to pursue a Masters in Fine Arts in Writing. He lives in Northern California with his partner of thirteen years and their Welsh Pembroke Corgi, and welcomes visitors at: www.cwgortner.com

Product Description

Review

Alison Weir and Philippa Gregory fans will devour this smashing fictional biography. (Booklist)

Disturbing royal secrets and court manipulations wickedly twist this enthralling story, brilliantly told. (Publishers Weekly on THE LAST QUEEN)

Compelling... a riveting blend of passion, power and betrayal. (Inside Soap)

In this book C W Gortner vividly depicts the turbulent life of one of history's most notorious yet, misunderstood women. (Four Shires)

Book Description

Passion, adultery and betrayal in the court of one of history's most-maligned queens.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Vickim on 5 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
Having read C W Gortner's Last Queen, I knew I had to buy this book. It tells the story of Catherine De Medici, the queen consort of Henri II of France.
Gortner is an amazing author. He really can tell a story in a way that you feel a part of the book. I could not put this down and I read the whole thing, cover to cover in a day.
The author shows a different side to Catherine, not the usual scheming, devious woman that we know. He portrays her much more humanely. She is a real person, she has feelings, she gets upset, she becomes happy etc. I've only ever read books where Catherine is the usual bad queen. In this, she truly is a likeable person.
A must read for lovers of historical fiction. This book is up there with Sharon Penman, Margaret George and Anya Seton!
BUY IT! You'll love it :)
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Devaki Khanna on 28 Aug. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Catherine de Medici has been depicted as a plotter and poisoner by authors of historical fiction. Here, however, we get the truth in her own voice. This is a strong woman whose life is full of tosses and turns--she is practically exiled from Florence, before her uncle weds her to Francis' son, Henri. Her husband, however, is enamored of a much older woman, who not only controls Catherine's marriage, but her relations with her children. And then there is her husband's friendship with the de Guises, with whom Catherine clashes as, one by one, her sons ascend the throne only to die childless. Her attempt to end the civil war between the Huguenots and the Catholics fails, because the Catholics, led by the de Guises, do not want peace and the Huguenots, led by Coligny and the Queen of Navarre, do not trust her. And then the fact that neither Margot nor Henry is willing to work at their marriage has as much to do with it...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Cameron-Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
Catherine de' Medici (1519 - 1589) was born in Florence, Italy, to Lorenzo II de' Medici, Duke of Urbino, and Madeleine de La Tour d'Auvergne, Countess of Boulogne. Both parents died within weeks of her birth.

In 1533, aged 14, Catherine was married to Henri, the second son of François I, King of France. In 1547, Henri became King of France (as Henri II) and Catherine was Queen Consort from 1547 to 1559. On the death of Henri II, Catherine played a key role in the reigns of three of her sons as, in turn, each became King of France.

In this novel, Mr Gortner moves beyond the known historical facts to tell Catherine's story, in her own voice: from her difficult life in Florence; through the challenges of her marriage to Henri where she was largely overshadowed by Henri's long standing mistress Diane de Poitiers; and then her role in the reigns of her sons during an age of almost constant religious and civil war in France.

The Catherine de' Medici given life on these pages is tenacious and witty, is flexible and able to compromise, and is determined to save the Valois monarchy in France. She is a passionate woman, overshadowed, if not overawed, by Diane de Poitiers. After the death of Henri II, she tries to protect the Valois monarchy from the ambitions of the nobility and the conflict between the Catholics and the Huguenots leading to the St Bartholomew's Day Massacre in 1572.

I enjoyed this novel for its more positive portrayal of Catherine de' Medici and presentation of the challenges she faced. Catherine de' Medici is one of the most controversial, maligned and feared women ever to be queen, and most fiction portrays her in this light.

`The truth is, none of us are innocent. We all have sins to confess.'

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. Russell on 27 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback
For over a generation, Catherine de Medici committed fair deed and foul to keep her family on the French throne. It was not an easy task, particularly thanks to the eight appallingly bloody religious wars between Catholics and Protestants that destablised the region. In 1572, sectarian tensions erupted with the Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre, in which thousands of Protestants were brutally murdered across France. Queen Catherine, rightly or wrongly, has been blamed for it ever since - either for deliberately orchestrating the massacre or for her political incompetence in failing to prevent it. A foreigner, a woman and a politician, Catherine was widely loathed in France by the time of her death (her son could not even give her a state funeral in Paris, because of threats the body would be attacked and destroyed) - and as Marie de Medici, Anne of Austria and poor Marie-Antoinette were to discover in centuries to come, being compared to Catherine de Medici was about as bad a political insult as Frenchmen could give.

From the extraordinary story of Catherine de Medici's life and career, C.W. Gortner drew inspiration for his second novel. "The Confessions of Catherine de Medici" is told in the first person, with Catherine reflecting on life from her childhood in the 1520s being educated by her Aunt Clarice until the 1580s, which saw her favourite son's desperate attempts to save the monarchy from the ambitions of the Catholic Holy League.

To begin with, what's wrong with "Confessions"? Well, in the first place, it's too short. Or, at least,it certainly feels like Gortner wanted to write a much longer novel.
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