Catherine de Medici: The Power Behind the French Throne

Catherine de Medici: The Power Behind the French Throne

by Barbara A. Somervill

A biography profiling the life of Catherine de Medici. Includes source notes and timeline.


A biography profiling the life of Catherine de Medici. Includes source notes and timeline.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Catherine De Medici's life was constantly in a power-struggle. Her parents were married in order to create an alliance between France and the Roman/Papal States. When her parents died, relatives in France desired to raise her—but Catherine's great-uncle, Pope Leo X, had other ideas. He raised her and secured her future as a pawn between the two powerful nations. Eventually she was married off to a younger son of the French king. The marriage proved to be more important than anyone anticipated when the dauphin suddenly died, leaving Henri and Catherine as heirs to the throne. This book balances the power and the person as it explores Catherine's life and motives. Photographs, paintings, and maps illustrate not only Catherine's life but the history of France and Rome, as well. The beautiful design and detailed information make this an excellent source for learning about Catherine and her impact on France. An index, beautiful time line, "life at a glance," additional resources, and bibliographic references are included. 2006, Compass Point Books/Capstone Press, Ages 12 to 18.
—Joella Peterson
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Despite an attractive format with plentiful full-color and black-and-white photos, these biographies are bland. They do an adequate job of covering the facts, but there's no life to the women's stories, no spark or flair to the writing. The authors place far more emphasis on actions than on personality and motivations. Catherine is the weakest title; it's a struggle to grasp who she really was, or to care about her (and how did she occupy herself in between historical happenings?). This book also has the largest number of footnoting issues (punctuation, capitalization, missing words, citations to the wrong book/page, etc.). Bhutto and Noor are the best of the bunch. All of the titles have minor errors and omissions and sometimes awkward writing. They do include maps (highly abbreviated), glossaries, time lines, and lists for further reading. A case could be made for adding Bhutto and Noor; it is harder to justify Catherine or Per-n.-Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Capstone Press
Publication date:
Happy Birthday! Series
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)
970L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Barbara A. Somervill has been writing for more than 30 years. She has written newspaper and magazine articles, video scripts, and books for children. She enjoys writing about history, science, and investigating people's lives for biographies. Ms. Somervill lives with her husband in South Carolina.

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