Download and read online The Confessions of Catherine de Medici in PDF and EPUB I was ten years old when I discovered I might be a witch... The sixteenth century: the era of queens. Catherine de Medici is an impressionable, mystical girl. She is orphaned and taken hostage by her enemies, and manipulated by her advisors; yet she is to become France's most powerful regent. History will make her name synonymous with evil, but she is all too human. Humiliated at the hands of her husband and his mistress, and haunted by her gift of second sight, she must rise above her troubles and fight to save her dynasty and adopted country from the brutal Wars of Religion... In THE CONFESSIONS OF CATHERINE DE MEDICI, C W Gortner vividly depicts the turbulent life of one of history's most notorious yet misunderstood women.
Download and read online The Confessions of Catherine de Medici in PDF and EPUB BONUS: This edition contains a The Confessions of Catherine de Medici discussion guide and an excerpt from C.W. Gortner's The Queen's Vow. The truth is, not one of us is innocent. We all have sins to confess. So reveals Catherine de Medici, the last legitimate descendant of her family’s illustrious line. Expelled from her native Florence, Catherine is betrothed to Henri, son of François I of France. In an unfamiliar realm, Catherine strives to create a role for herself through her patronage of the famous clairvoyant Nostradamus and her own innate gift as a seer. But in her fortieth year, Catherine is widowed, left alone with six young children in a kingdom torn apart by the ambitions of a treacherous nobility. Relying on her tenacity, wit, and uncanny gift for compromise, Catherine seizes power, intent on securing the throne for her sons, unaware that if she is to save France, she may have to sacrifice her ideals, her reputation, and the secret of her embattled heart.
Download and read online The Confessions of Catherine de Medici in PDF and EPUB Leaving her native Florence to marry Henry II of France, Catherine de Medici embarks on an unanticipated destiny of religious warfare, thwarted leadership and psychologically charged royal machinations. By the author of The Last Queen.
Download and read online The Devil s Queen in PDF and EPUB From Jeanne Kalogridis, the bestselling author of I, Mona Lisa and The Borgia Bride, comes a new novel that tells the passionate story of a queen who loved not wisely . . . but all too well. Confidante of Nostradamus, scheming mother-in-law to Mary, Queen of Scots, and architect of the bloody St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, Catherine de Medici is one of the most maligned monarchs in history. In her latest historical fiction, Jeanne Kalogridis tells Catherine's story—that of a tender young girl, destined to be a pawn in Machiavellian games. Born into one of Florence's most powerful families, Catherine was soon left a fabulously rich heiress by the early deaths of her parents. Violent conflict rent the city state and she found herself imprisoned and threatened by her family's enemies before finally being released and married off to the handsome Prince Henry of France. Overshadowed by her husband's mistress, the gorgeous, conniving Diane de Poitiers, and unable to bear children, Catherine resorted to the dark arts of sorcery to win Henry's love and enhance her fertility—for which she would pay a price. Against the lavish and decadent backdrop of the French court, and Catherine's blood-soaked visions of the future, Kalogridis reveals the great love and desire Catherine bore for her husband, Henry, and her stark determination to keep her sons on the throne.
Download and read online Catherine de Medici in PDF and EPUB Poisoner, despot, necromancer -- the dark legend of Catherine de Medici is centuries old. In this critically hailed biography, Leonie Frieda reclaims the story of this unjustly maligned queen to reveal a skilled ruler battling extraordinary political and personal odds -- from a troubled childhood in Florence to her marriage to Henry, son of King Francis I of France; from her transformation of French culture to her fight to protect her throne and her sons' birthright. Based on thousands of private letters, it is a remarkable account of one of the most influential women ever to wear a crown.
Download and read online Madame Serpent in PDF and EPUB Fourteen-year-old Catherine de’ Medici arrives in Marseilles to marry Henry, Duke of Orleans, second son of the King of France. The brokenhearted Catherine has left her true love in Italy, forced into trading her future happiness for marriage into the French royal family. Amid the glittering fêtes and banquets of the most immoral court in sixteenth-century Europe, the reluctant bride becomes a passionate but unwanted wife. Humiliated and unloved, Catherine spies on Henry and his lover, the infamous Diane de Poitiers. Tortured by what she sees, Catherine becomes consumed by a ruthless ambition destined to make her the most despised woman in France: the dream that one day the French crown will be worn by a Medici heir. . . .
Download and read online M dicis Daughter in PDF and EPUB It's the winter of 1564 and the beautiful young Princess Margot is summoned to her mother's household, where her true education begins in earnest. Known across Europe as Madame la Serpente, Queen Catherine is an intimidating and unmoving presence in France, even as her country recovers from the first of many devastating religious wars. Among the crafty nobility of Queen Catherine's royal court, Margot learns the intriguing and unspoken rules she must live by to please her manipulative family. Eager to be an obedient daughter, Margot embraces her role as a pawn to be married off to the most convenient bidder. Despite her loyalty, Margot finds herself charmed by the powerful and charismatic Duc de Guise and falls for him even as she is promised to another. Finally setting aside her happiness for duty, Margot leaves the man she loves for Henri of Navarre, a Huguenot leader and a notorious heretic. Yet Queen Catherine's schemes are endless, and Margot's brother plots vengeance in the streets of Paris. Forced to choose between her family and what's right, Margot at last finds the strength within herself to forge her own destiny. Médicis Daughter is historical fiction at its finest, weaving a unique coming-of-age story and a forbidden love with one of the most dramatic and violent events in French history.
Download and read online Catherine de Medici in PDF and EPUB Catherine de' Medici (1519-89) was the wife of one king of France and the mother of three more - the last, sorry representatives of the Valois, who had ruled France since 1328. She herself is of preeminent importance to French history, and one of the most controversial of all historical figures. Despised until she was powerful enough to be hated, she was, in her own lifetime and since, the subject of a "Black Legend" that has made her a favourite subject of historical novelists (most notably Alexandre Dumas, whose Reine Margot has recently had new currency on film). Yet there is no recent biography of her in English. This new study, by a leading scholar of Renaissance France, is a major event. Catherine, a neglected and insignificant member of the Florentine Medici, entered French history in 1533 when she married the son of Francis I for short-lived political reasons: her uncle was pope Clement VII, who died the following year. Now of no diplomatic value, Catherine was treated with contempt at the French court even after her husband's accession as Henry II in 1547. Even so, she gave him ten children before he was killed in a tournament in 1559. She was left with three young boys, who succeeded to the throne as Francis II (1559-60), Charles IX (1560-74) and Henry III (1574-89). As regent and queen-mother, a woman and with no natural power-base of her own, she faced impossible odds. France was accelerating into chaos, with political faction at court and religious conflict throughout the land. As the country disintegrated, Catherine's overriding concern was for the interests of her children. She was tireless in her efforts to protect her sons' inheritance, and to settle her daughters in advantageous marriages. But France needed more. Catherine herself was both peace-loving and, in an age of frenzied religious hatred, unbigoted. She tried to use the Huguenots to counterbalance the growing power of the ultra-Catholic Guises but extremism on all sides frustrated her. She was drawn into the violence. Her name is ineradicably associated with its culmination, the Massacre of St Bartholomew (24 August 1572), when thousands of Huguenots were slaughtered in Paris and elsewhere. To this day no-one knows for certain whether Catherine instigated the massacre or not, but here Robert Knecht explores the probabilities in a notably level-headed fashion. His book is a gripping narrative in its own right. It offers both a lucid exposition of immensely complex events (with their profound imact on the future of France), and also a convincing portrait of its enigmatic central character. In going behind the familiar Black Legend, Professor Knecht does not make the mistake of whitewashing Catherine; but he shows how intractable was her world, and how shifty or intransigent the people with whom she had to deal. For all her flaws, she emerges as a more sympathetic - and, in her pragmatism, more modern - figure than most of her leading contemporaries.
Download and read online The Rival Queens in PDF and EPUB The riveting true story of mother-and-daughter queens Catherine de' Medici and Marguerite de Valois, whose wildly divergent personalities and turbulent relationship changed the shape of their tempestuous and dangerous century. Set in magnificent Renaissance France, this is the story of two remarkable women, a mother and daughter driven into opposition by a terrible betrayal that threatened to destroy the realm. Catherine de' Medici was a ruthless pragmatist and powerbroker who dominated the throne for thirty years. Her youngest daughter Marguerite, the glamorous "Queen Margot," was a passionate free spirit, the only adversary whom her mother could neither intimidate nor control. When Catherine forces the Catholic Marguerite to marry her Protestant cousin Henry of Navarre against her will, and then uses her opulent Parisian wedding as a means of luring his followers to their deaths, she creates not only savage conflict within France but also a potent rival within her own family. Rich in detail and vivid prose, Goldstone's narrative unfolds as a thrilling historical epic. Treacherous court politics, poisonings, inter-national espionage, and adultery form the background to a story that includes such celebrated figures as Elizabeth I, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Nostradamus. The Rival Queens is a dangerous tale of love, betrayal, ambition, and the true nature of courage, the echoes of which still resonate.
Download and read online The Queen s Vow in PDF and EPUB No one believed I was destined for greatness. So begins Isabella’s story, in this evocative, vividly imagined novel about one of history’s most famous and controversial queens—the warrior who united a fractured country, the champion of the faith whose reign gave rise to the Inquisition, and the visionary who sent Columbus to discover a New World. Acclaimed author C. W. Gortner envisages the turbulent early years of a woman whose mythic rise to power would go on to transform a monarchy, a nation, and the world. Young Isabella is barely a teenager when she and her brother are taken from their mother’s home to live under the watchful eye of their half-brother, King Enrique, and his sultry, conniving queen. There, Isabella is thrust into danger when she becomes an unwitting pawn in a plot to dethrone Enrique. Suspected of treason and held captive, she treads a perilous path, torn between loyalties, until at age seventeen she suddenly finds herself heiress of Castile, the largest kingdom in Spain. Plunged into a deadly conflict to secure her crown, she is determined to wed the one man she loves yet who is forbidden to her—Fernando, prince of Aragon. As they unite their two realms under “one crown, one country, one faith,” Isabella and Fernando face an impoverished Spain beset by enemies. With the future of her throne at stake, Isabella resists the zealous demands of the inquisitor Torquemada even as she is seduced by the dreams of an enigmatic navigator named Columbus. But when the Moors of the southern domain of Granada declare war, a violent, treacherous battle against an ancient adversary erupts, one that will test all of Isabella’s resolve, her courage, and her tenacious belief in her destiny. From the glorious palaces of Segovia to the battlefields of Granada and the intrigue-laden gardens of Seville, The Queen’s Vow sweeps us into the tumultuous forging of a nation and the complex, fascinating heart of the woman who overcame all odds to become Isabella of Castile. Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more. Praise for The Queen’s Vow “A masterwork by a skilled craftsman . . . Make a vow to read this book.”—New York Journal of Books “A beautifully crafted piece of historical fiction . . . Gortner’s vivid details blend with his deeply intensive research to re-create Isabella and Castile in a way that the reader will find compelling and immersive, bringing not just the Queen but the whole nation to life.”—RT Book Reviews “A fascinating story . . . Through his creative and spellbinding storytelling, Gortner’s readers come to know Isabella intimately in mind, heart and body as she lives through a tumultuous time, her intense longing to be the determiner of her own unique destiny.”—Wichita Falls Times Record News “A novel of triumph as Isabella vanquishes her enemies one by one . . . [She is] a very human and appealing character.”—The Roanoke Times “Politically charged, passionate . . . [a] well-researched, intriguing historical.”—Bookreporter
Download and read online The Vatican Princess in PDF and EPUB For fans of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir, bestselling author C. W. Gortner effortlessly weaves history and drama in this captivating novel about one of the world’s most notorious families. Glamorous and predatory, the Borgias fascinated and terrorized fifteenth-century Renaissance Italy, and Lucrezia Borgia, beloved daughter of the pope, was at the center of the dynasty’s ambitions. Slandered as a heartless seductress who lured men to their doom, was she in fact the villainess of legend, or was she trapped in a familial web, forced to choose between loyalty and survival? With the ascension of the Spaniard Rodrigo Borgia as Pope Alexander VI, a new era has dawned in Rome. Benefitting from their father’s elevation are the new pope’s illegitimate children—his rival sons, Cesare and Juan, and beautiful young daughter Lucrezia—each of whom assumes an exalted position in the papal court. Privileged and adored, Lucrezia yearns to escape her childhood and play a part in her family’s fortunes. But Rome is seductive and dangerous: Alliances shift at a moment’s notice as Italy’s ruling dynasties strive to keep rivals at bay. As Lucrezia’s father faces challenges from all sides, the threat of a French invasion forces him to marry her off to a powerful adversary. But when she discovers the brutal truth behind her alliance, Lucrezia is plunged into a perilous gambit that will require all her wits, cunning, and guile. Escaping her marriage offers the chance of happiness with a passionate prince of Naples, yet as scandalous accusations of murder and incest build against her, menacing those she loves, Lucrezia must risk everything to overcome the lethal fate imposed upon her by her Borgia blood. Beautifully wrought, rich with fascinating historical detail, The Vatican Princess is the first novel to describe Lucrezia’s coming-of-age in her own voice. What results is a dramatic, vivid tale set in an era of savagery and unparalleled splendor, where enemies and allies can be one and the same, and where loyalty to family can ultimately be a curse. Praise for The Vatican Princess “In a literary exploration riven with Shakespearean quantities of murder, lies, deceptions, and treachery, Gortner’s narrative gains veracity with his atmospheric exploration of fashion, architecture, and art on the stage of ‘loud, filthy, and dangerous’ Rome. Gortner has imagined Lucrezia Borgia’s life from a feminist perspective.”—Kirkus Reviews “[Gortner] has invested his novel with impressive historical detail that is woven neatly into the threads of the story, and his afterword and references offer excellent insight.”—Historical Novels Review “Assiduously researched and expertly crafted, this novel takes readers inside the treacherous world of the Borgias—one of history’s most dysfunctional ruling families—and brings to life the sympathetic and freshly imagined character of their leading lady, Lucrezia. This unholy plunge into Rome’s darkest dynasty is wholly engrossing.”—Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of Sisi: Empress on Her Own “The world of Renaissance Italy is vividly brought to life—I’m captivated by this knowledgeable author’s take on the controversial Borgias.”—Alison Weir, New York Times bestselling author of Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen “Impressive research, a lush background, and deft characterization of these turbulent times make for a fascinating read.”—Margaret George, New York Times bestselling author of Elizabeth I From the Hardcover edition.
Download and read online History s Great Queens 2 Book Bundle in PDF and EPUB In two stunning novels, C. W. Gortner brings to life two of history’s most intriguing and courageous women: Catherine de Medici, the last legitimate descendant of the illustrious Medici family of Italy, and Juana of Castile, daughter of Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand of Spain, who would be the last queen to inherit her country’s throne. THE CONFESSIONS OF CATHERINE DE MEDICI Catherine de Medici has been expelled from her native Florence and betrothed to Henri, son of François I of France. In an unfamiliar realm, she strives to create a role for herself through her patronage of the famous clairvoyant Nostradamus and her own innate gift as a seer. But in her fortieth year, Catherine is widowed, left alone with six young children in a kingdom torn apart by the ambitions of a treacherous nobility. Relying on her tenacity, wit, and uncanny gift for compromise, Catherine seizes power, intent on securing the throne for her sons, unaware that if she is to save France, she may have to sacrifice her ideals, her reputation, and the secret of her embattled heart. THE LAST QUEEN Born amid her parents’ struggle to unify and strengthen their kingdom, Juana, at the age of sixteen, is sent to wed Philip, heir to the Habsburg Empire. There, she finds unexpected love and passion with her dashing young husband, and at first she is content with her children and her married life. But when tragedy strikes and she becomes heir to the Spanish throne, Juana finds herself plunged into a battle for power against her husband that grows to involve the major monarchs of Europe. Besieged by foes on all sides, Juana vows to secure her crown and save Spain from ruin, even if it costs her everything. Includes an excerpt from C. W. Gortner’s much-anticipated new novel featuring Isabel of Castile, The Queen’s Vow.
Download and read online The Oracle Glass in PDF and EPUB New York Times and USA Today Bestseller! "Absorbing and arresting." —New York Times "Fascinating and factual." —Los Angeles Times "Chilly, witty, and completely engrossing ... great, good fun." — Kirkus Reviews "An outstanding historical novel of 17th–century France ... based on a real–life scandal known as the Affaire des Poisons, this tale is riveting from start to finish." —Library Journal For a handful of gold, Madame de Morville will read your future in a glass of swirling water. You'll believe her, because you know she's more than 150 years old and a witch, and she has all of Paris in the palm of her hand. But Madame de Morville hides more behind her black robes than you know. Her real age, the mother and uncle who left her for dead, the inner workings of the most secret society of Parisian witches: none of these truths would help her outwit the rich who so desperately want the promise of the future. After all, it's her own future she must control , no matter how much it is painted with uncertainty and clouded by vengeance. "Take a full cup of wit, two teaspoons of brimstone, and a dash of poison, and you have Judith Merkle Riley's mordant, compelling tale of an ambitious young woman who disguises herself as an ancient prophetess in order to gain entry into the dangerous, scheming glamour of the Sun King's court. Based on scandalous true events, The Oracle Glass brims with our human foibles, passions, and eccentricities; it's a classic of the genre and unlike any historical novel you have ever read." —C. W. Gortner, author of The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
Download and read online The Last Queen in PDF and EPUB Married at sixteen. A queen at twenty-five. Declared insane and locked up by the men she adored. Juana 'la Loca' - the last true queen of Spain. Juana - daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella and sister to Catherine of Aragon - is a woman ruled by her passions. Her arranged marriage to Philip the Fair of Flanders begins as a fairytale romance when, despite never having met before their betrothal, they fall desperately in love. She was never meant to be more than his consort and mother to his heirs; but, after tragedy decimates her family, she finds herself heiress to the throne of Spain. Suddenly Juana is plunged into a ruthless battle of ambition and treachery, with the future of Spain and her own freedom at stake. Told in Juana's voice, THE LAST QUEEN is the enthralling and moving tale of a woman ahead of her time, who fought fiercely for her birthright in the face of an unimaginable betrayal. Juana's story is one of history's darkest secrets, brought vividly to life in this exhilarating novel.
Download and read online Beware Princess Elizabeth in PDF and EPUB Imprisonment. Betrayal. Lost love. Murder. What more must a princess endure? Elizabeth Tudor's teenage and young adult years during the turbulent reigns of Edward and then Mary Tudor are hardly those of a fairy-tale princess. Her mother has been beheaded by Elizabeth's own father, Henry VIII; her jealous half sister, Mary, has her locked away in the Tower of London; and her only love interest betrays her in his own quest for the throne. Told in the voice of the young Elizabeth and ending when she is crowned queen, this second novel in the exciting series explores the relationship between two sisters who became mortal enemies. Carolyn Meyer has written an intriguing historical tale that reveals the deep-seated rivalry between a determined girl who became one of England's most powerful monarchs and the sister who tried everything to stop her.