Catherine De Medici Audiobook | Leonie Frieda | Audible.com
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Catherine De Medici | [Leonie Frieda]

Catherine De Medici

Leonie Frieda has returned to original sources and re-read the thousands of letters left by Catherine de Medici. There has not been a biography in English of Catherine for many years, and she believes that the time has come to show her as one of the most influential women in 16th-century Europe.
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Publisher's Summary

Catherine de Medici was half French, half Italian. Orphaned in infancy, she was the sole legitimate heiress to the Medici family fortune. Married at 14 to the future Henri II of France, she was constantly humiliated by his influential mistress Diane de Poitiers.

When her husband died as a result of a duelling accident in Paris - Leonie Frieda's magnificent, throat-grabbing opening chapter - Catherine was made queen regent during the short reign of her eldest son. (He was married to Mary Queen of Scots and, like many of her children, he died young.) When her second son became king, she was the power behind the throne.

Leonie Frieda has returned to original sources and re-read the thousands of letters left by Catherine. There has not been a biography in English of Catherine for many years, and she believes that the time has come to show her as one of the most influential women in 16th-century Europe.

©2003 Leonie Frieda; (P)2005 Orion Publishing Group Ltd

What the Critics Say

"Leonie Frieda tells an enthralling story that includes incest, vicious religious wars, assassination, poison, the occult and, in Catherine's own words, 'passion, hatred and vengeance'." (Options XIII)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (55 )
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  •  
    Die Falknerin 05-24-11 Member Since 2008

    Painter, musician, bibliophile...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An outstanding performance of an excellent book"

    It isn't easy to find much in English, far less on audio, about the Valois monarchs. It was for that reason I turned to this biography and am very glad I did. I knew little of Catherine before listening to this, and now find myself wanting to learn much more about those around her, from her friend and sister-in-law Marguerite, Duchesse de Berri to her nemesis Diane de Poitiers and many more besides. I also longed to learn more about the architecture and decoration of the many chateaux, such as Chenonceau and Anet. That feeling of wanting to know more is a great treat when reading history, and sadly, sometimes it is a rare one! Frieda's biography is rich and dense with information, and there is never a dull moment for those who love French history. Anna Massey's performance is, as always, outstanding in every way. I only wish the book could have been three times longer, with many incidents gone into with greater detail, so greatly did I enjoy it. I hope you will love it, too.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Sebastian, FL, United States 02-07-12
    Donna Sebastian, FL, United States 02-07-12 Member Since 2011
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    "A Great Historical Read"

    This book gives you a pretty detailed listing of who did what during the 1500's in France. I did enjoy the history lesson but next time I will have to prepare a flow chart of names to keep track of who is doing what to whom. This did provide an extremely good insight into the religious wars of the era.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neil Chisholm Buninyong, Australia 10-03-12
    Neil Chisholm Buninyong, Australia 10-03-12 Member Since 2011

    "fabric artist and quilter"

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Why isn't Catherine known as a she-wolf?"

    This is a most interesting biography of an extraordinary woman who appeared to be prepared to do almost anything for her children - she poisoned, she murdered and she dabbled in the dark arts for them. She was closely involved in the infamous St Bartholomew's Day Massacre of the Huguenots yet history sees her as the Queen Mother who was the power behind the throne of Charles IX and Henri III and as such a good ruler of France.

    I've recently read about Isabelle who was labelled the She-Wolf of France which seems to a bit unfair, yet Catherine who quite clearly could be so labelled is fairly untarnished by history. I guess that proves the point History is written by the Victors!

    English history seems very straight forward yet in comparison French history seems ridiculously complicated and convoluted - the time of the French Wars of Religion are no less tortuous and twisted yet thru it all schemed Catherine.

    This is a book for history lovers particularly those interested in 16th Century and Tudor history wanting an understanding of French goings on at the same time as Elizabeth I. I personally would preferred to have been in the English Court at this time - far less confusing and far safer!

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eilene Westbrook, TX, United States 09-01-09
    Eilene Westbrook, TX, United States 09-01-09 Listener Since 2009
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    "Catherine De Medici"

    Excellent book. I have not found much on Catherine De Medici and it was just enjoyable to finally hear some of her accomplishment throughout her life time.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy STEEP FALLS, ME, United States 07-09-12
    Amy STEEP FALLS, ME, United States 07-09-12
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    "I would recommend this to other listeners."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Catherine De Medici to be better than the print version?

    I've never read the print version.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was an interesting and easy way to learn about Catherine De Medici.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tnafbrat Tennessee 06-04-12
    Tnafbrat Tennessee 06-04-12 Member Since 2009

    Denise Jackson-Holder

    ratings
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    "Brought to Life"
    What did you love best about Catherine De Medici?

    The family and national history as well as how some of the "stories" came to be.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Catherine was neither all good or bad


    Have you listened to any of Anna Massey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    na


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but I couldn't


    Any additional comments?

    Audio is becoming one of my favorite ways to "read" history and biographies

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-6 of 6 results
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  • Robyn
    Modbury, Australia
    6/19/12
    Overall
    "wonderful book beautifully read"

    This book is a pleasure to listen to. Catherine de Medici and the other characters are interesting and presented in fascinating detail and full colour. It is a scholarly work but accessible to all - full marks to Leonie Frieda. Anna Massey's reading is perfect. Some readers have voices which are difficult to listen to hour after hour and some struggle with foreign words, but Anna Massey is easy on the ear and - so important - her French and Italian pronunciations are spot on. This is one of my favourite audiobooks.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Gillian
    Warlingham, Surrey, United Kingdom
    1/20/10
    Overall
    "An Amazing Woman!"

    This biography of Catherine De Medici takes you to the centre of life in the 16th century. Anna Massey is excellent as a narrator as she guides through the trials and tribulations of Catherine's life from a child to her death.

    I thoroughly recommend it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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