Blood, Fire and Gold: The story of Elizabeth I and Catherine de Medici

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Blood, Fire and Gold: The story of Elizabeth I and Catherine de Medici

Blood, Fire and Gold: The story of Elizabeth I and Catherine de Medici

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Francis II was married to Mary, Queen of Scots, who had a claim on the English throne, and the young couple sported the arms of England.

There are areas where the author has built dialogue between key historical figures, based on records of their meetings and the outcomes of them.Catherine is too often portrayed as a scheming poisoner, but she was a queen who lost her husband and 3 sons while trying to guide France through a tumultuous time of religious unrest. She was walking a fine line between personal faith and the stability of the realm amidst the wars of religion. This is not the Catherine of Nancy Goldstone's The Rival Queens: Catherine de' Medici, Her Daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal that Ignited a Kingdom or Jean Plaidy’s fictional treatment in Madame Serpent. She did not stop Drake and his privateers from attacking and plundering, not only Spanish, but also French’s ships.

Through her gripping narrative, she brings two extraordinary women who experienced love, heartbreak, triumph and disaster masterfully to life. The singularly interesting and unusual correspondence in time of two domineering and intelligent women ruling some of the most powerful nations in Europe at the same time is fascinating, and it is almost criminal that a book studying their relationship has not previously been written. Catherine and Elizabeth also had to deal with other nations, like Spain, getting in the way of their relationship, as well as the issue of religion; Catherine was a devout Catholic, and Elizabeth was more Protestant. The bond between the two queens started over a desire for one of Catherine’s sons to marry Elizabeth and become King of England and France, but alas, this was wishful thinking. Blood, Fire and Gold shines a new light onto the diplomatic tensions between sixteenth-century England and France, as well as the Wars of Religion, espionage, court intrigue, and the games of power.By the time they landed on Gold Beach on D-Day, they were toughened by experience and ready for combat. One a Virgin Queen who ruled her kingdom alone, and the other a clandestine leader who used her children to shape the dynasties of Europe, much has been written about these iconic women. Henry III could not afford to do that: the eighth and longest and bloodiest of the civil wars was raging, and the Guise family was lording it over the King. Two queens; one a wife and the mother of kings and the other a virgin who had to fight for the right to rule her country independently. Perhaps most importantly, it gives us unrivalled access to a landscape in which female power and agency was experienced and exercised in early modern Europe.

This deep empathy in her writing makes her book an exciting read—it's never, ever dry, because you feel like you're in the midst of the action with Elizabeth, Catherine, and their ambassadors. Catherine de Medici and Elizabeth I would define what it meant to be female rulers in the 16th century for France and England, respectively. There is also a lot of space devoted to the personal lives of each of the queens, with enough sensitive detail to offer a genuine feel for the personalities of each woman—something that is often hard to achieve in biography, especially for people long dead.A relationship that shows a little bit of everything: vulnerability, scheming, hard-headedness, betrayal, and even trust.

I was excited to win a copy of this on the author's Instagram page as it had been on my wishlist for ages. The author does a good job of asessing the queens in a fairly balanced way, as well as not making them rivals or good/bad, but rather women as well as rulers living in a 16th century world. Famed across the known world, jealously guarded by private collectors, built up over centuries, destroyed in a single day, ornamented with gold leaf and frescoes or filled with bean bags and children’s drawings – the history of the library is rich, varied and stuffed full of incident. One a virgin and Queen Regnant of England, the other a wife and Queen Mother to the Valois Kings of France.

Parliament was soon in turmoil and government minister Robert Harley launched a hunt for all those involved. It is also a tale of ceaseless calculation, of love and rivalry, of war and wisdom - and of female power in a male world. As Queen, Regent and ultimately mother of the King, Catherine would remain one of the most influential voices in France for almost 40 years. Paranque highlights the personalities of her subjects masterfully through the use of modernised quotes which allows insight to the complex nature of how political leaders communicated with one another as such the situation benefited them whether it be war or even marital prospects.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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