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The Rival Queens: Catherine de' Medici, her daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal That Ignited a Kingdom


The Rival Queens: Catherine de' Medici, her daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal That Ignited a Kingdom

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    Available in PDF Format | The Rival Queens: Catherine de' Medici, her daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal That Ignited a Kingdom.pdf | English
    Nancy Goldstone(Author)

'A gripping tale of royal feuds and divided kingdoms' - AMANDA FOREMAN

Set in Renaissance France at the magnificent court of the Valois kings, THE RIVAL QUEENS is the history of two remarkable women, a mother and daughter driven into opposition by a terrible betrayal that threatened to destroy the realm.

Catherine de' Medici, the infamous queen mother of France, was a consummate pragmatist and powerbroker who dominated the throne for 30 years. Her youngest daughter Marguerite, the glamorous 'Queen Margot', was a passionate free spirit, the only adversary whom her mother could neither intimidate nor fully control.

When Catherine forces the Catholic Marguerite to marry her Protestant cousin Henry of Navarreshe creates not only savage conflict within France but also a potent rival within her own family. Treacherous court politics, poisonings, international espionage and adultery form the background to a story whose fascinating array of characters include such celebrated figures as Elizabeth I, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Nostradamus.

A gripping tale of royal feuds and divided kingdoms. (AMANDA FOREMAN)

2.2 (7796)
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Book details

  • PDF | 448 pages
  • Nancy Goldstone(Author)
  • W&N (9 Jun. 2016)
  • English
  • 8
  • Biography
Read online or download a free book: The Rival Queens: Catherine de' Medici, her daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal That Ignited a Kingdom

Review Text

  • By Alisonmi on 22 July 2017

    Knew nothing of note about these two women. Fascinating if brutal period. Well written and accessible, I'd recommend it and I will probably read others by Ms Goldstone.

  • By Gemma on 15 August 2017

    Great book. A study of Catherine de Valois and her daughter, the fascinating Margot. Highly recommended

  • By ange on 13 June 2017

    I loved this book. well written, informative and enjoyable I look forward to reading more from nancy goldstone.

  • By Colm Chase on 28 June 2015

    The fascinating story of a totally dysfunctional royal family headed by a despotic mother. This is a very enjoyable and easy to read introduction to the times of Catherine de Medici and her family. Married to a king who preferred his mistress and mother of successively disastrous kings (Francis ll, Charles lX, and Henry lll) perhaps Catherine de Medicis most serious flaw was her persecution of her youngest daughter Marguerite (la Reine Margot) who was forced to marry the protestant King of Navarre (subsequently Henry lV of France) as a political tool by her mother despite her dedication to the catholic church. Her treatment by her mother and two of her brothers and her survival through the wars of religion of the period reads like a plot from a soap opera rather than a history of the kingdom of France. Another easy reading page turner from this author.

  • By Elspeth G. Perkin on 24 August 2016

    There is no doubt that The Rival Queens: Catherine de' Medici, Her Daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal that Ignited a Kingdom carries and delivers the cache of French 16th-century: betrayals, jealousies, political and religious factions and of course murderous blood relations in its pages but for this reader, I was looking for more history and solid facts versus speculation and less sounding biased views of historic individuals. This was one royalty biography I have been anticipating for months and I very sorry to say, it was a mere disappointing read that I sorely wish I could speak more positively about.Judging by the slew of positive reviews for this work, I seem to be among the few who didn’t love this book. For me, throughout this title there was a distracting odd informal tone and to be quite honest, I finished having the feeling I was on a much anticipated tour with a guide who at times seemed to take advantage of the unfamiliar visitor only sharing information that avoided certain topics and admissions of personal interpretations while at the same time overemphasizing and repeating thoughts and comments as hard facts leaving no opportunities for debate or questions. Although I did learn about personality and supposed characters flaws and royal scandals while on this tour; it became very awkward to try to decipher what was fact or fiction on certain important subjects and historic figures. This may serve as a perfect introduction through the intricate workings of 16th and early 17th-century French court and politics for someone else but for me I think it best I try to find another guide for this fascinating era of history and key opponents.

  • By Henry H8 on 12 October 2015

    This is a truly fascinating account of the rivalry between Catherine De Medici, Queen of France and her daughter - "Margot", Queen of Navarre. This witty and intelligent book (which includes some quite amusing asides and commentary) focuses on a relatively little known period of 16th century French history. The earlier sections of the book are particularly gripping as Nancy Goldstone describes the very dysfunctional marriage of Henri II and Catherine - very much a case of "three people in this marriage". The book does lose some momentum and becomes more complicated as it goes on but remains a worthwhile read to the end. You can only feel sorry for "Margot" as she has to content with the mother, husband and brother from hell!

  • By Stephanie Louise Broadhurst on 7 April 2016

    I picked up this book in a bookshop after linking Catherine de Medici to a character on one of my favourite TV shows Reign. I often read historical fiction but tend to stay away from non-fiction book such as these (bad memories of history class I guess). As soon as I read the introduction of this though, I was hooked! The story told in the introduction is probably the most shocking of both the women’s lives and of course was chosen (with great effect – at least in my case) to hook the reader. It reminded me of A Game of Thrones and I was intrigued to know more and read on.This period of French history, which coincides with the reigns of Henry VIII and his children Edward, Mary and Elizabeth I in England, makes the Tudors look almost like normal family! Often for historical fiction timelines are adjusted to create a fast-flowing story. This wasn't required in this case.For a first non-fiction historical book this was a great read. The writer tells the story in an engaging, easy to follow way. The sources seemed legitimate and I thought it was pretty obvious when the writers own opinion was being given. Overall I would recommend to fans of Reign and European history in general. I will be reading other works by this author.

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