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Publisher's Summary

“In this insightful, fascinating portrayal, Elizabeth Lev brings Caterina Sforza and her times very much to life.” (Kathleen Turner, actress and author of Send Yourself Roses)

A strategist to match Machiavelli; a warrior who stood toe to toe with the Borgias; a wife whose three marriages would end in bloodshed and heartbreak; and a mother determined to maintain her family’s honor, Caterina Riario Sforza de’ Medici was a true Renaissance celebrity, beloved and vilified in equal measure. In this dazzling biography, Elizabeth Lev illuminates her extraordinary life and accomplishments. 

Raised in the court of Milan and wed at age ten to the pope’s corrupt nephew, Caterina was ensnared in Italy’s political intrigues early in life. After turbulent years in Rome’s papal court, she moved to the Romagnol province of Forlì. Following her husband’s assassination, she ruled Italy’s crossroads with iron will, martial strength, political savvy, and an icon’s fashion sense. In finally losing her lands to the Borgia family, she put up a resistance that inspired all of Europe and set the stage for her progeny - including Cosimo de’ Medici - to follow her example to greatness. 

A rich evocation of Renaissance life, The Tigress of Forlì reveals Caterina Riario Sforza as a brilliant and fearless ruler, and a tragic but unbowed figure. 

“A rich, nuanced portrait of a highly controversial beauty and military leader, and her violent, albeit glittering, Italian Renaissance milieu.” (Publishers Weekly

“Well-written and meticulously researched, The Tigress of Forlì recreates the world of Renaissance Italy in all its grandeur and violence. At the center stands a remarkable woman, Caterina Riario Sforza. Mother, warrior, and icon, Caterina is unforgettable, and so is the exciting story that Elizabeth Lev tells here.” (Barry Strauss, author of Masters of Command: Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, and the Genius of Leadership)

©2019 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company (P)2019 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

What listeners say about The Tigress of Forli: Renaissance Italy's Most Courageous and Notorious Countess, Caterina Riario Sforza de' Medici

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Astounding and Interesting Story of A Formidable Countess

Truly enjoyable and entertaining performance and story of Countess Caterina Sforza de Medici whose rose to power and prominence on behalf of her family within the turmoil and tumult of Renaissance Italy and the struggles between powerful families. Intelligence, Courage, wit, insight, wile and fearlessness and predisposition to action were her lifelong and admirable attributes. Her life story is one with great heights and equally low depths. But it is a story well worth hearing and knowing—She was a unyielding warrior and fighter like her father before her. Her legacy through her children and grandchildren shape Renaissance Italy and after.

4 people found this helpful

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A riveting biography of a fascinating woman

Catarina Sforza's life reads like epic fiction, and the author and narrator capture it's wonderfully.

4 people found this helpful

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Edita Brichta

the narrator can read the phone book and I will sit down and listen

3 people found this helpful

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Outstanding

The book was both informative and interesting. I learned a lot. The narrator was great.

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One dimensional story

Well narrated but one dimensional and biased account. Often found myself “hmmming” at the author’s language usage. I prefer a narrative history where the author is less clearly enamored with her subject. Led to a glossing over of Sforza’s many deficiencies. This led to a general weakening of the strength of the account

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  • Sean
  • 01-31-20

Apart

From all the confusing Italian names(my own ignorance) and apart from the amazing art, architecture, sculpture et al, I think 14th or 15th century italy is a place I'd stay away from, such a brutal place to be, probably no worse than the rest of Europe I suppose, but what a brave, courageous woman, brilliant book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-04-20

amazing story!

The Tigeress of Forli NEEDS her own movie. Her story is so interesting. read this book!