The bestselling author of Catherine de Medici returns to sixteenth-century Europe in this evocative and entertaining biography that recreates a remarkable era of French history and brings to life a great monarch—Francis I—who turned France into a great nation.
Catherine de Medici’s father-in-law, King Francis of France, was the perfect Renaissance knight, the movement’s exemplar and its Gallic interpreter. An aesthete, diplomat par excellence, and contemporary of Machiavelli, Francis was the founder of modern France, whose sheer force of will and personality molded his kingdom into the first European superpower. Arguably the man who introduced the Renaissance to France, Francis was also the prototype Frenchman—a national identity was modeled on his character. So great was his stamp, that few countries even now are quite so robustly patriotic as is France. Yet as Leonie Frieda reveals, Francis did not always live up to his ideal; a man of grand passions and vision, he was also a flawed husband, father, lover, and king.
With access to private archives that have never been used in a study of Francis I, Frieda explores the life of a man who was the most human of the monarchs of the period—and yet, remains the most elusive.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.23(d)|
About the Author
Leonie Frieda is the author of a bestselling biography of Catherine de Medici and The Deadly Sisterhood: A Story of Women, Power and Intrigue in the Italian Renaissance. She lives in London.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations ix
Genealogical Tables xvii
List of Principal Characters xxvii
List of Monarchs of France xxxi
Chapter 1 A Prophecy Fulfilled 7
Chapter 2 A Game of Thrones 21
Chapter 3 'The King Never Dies' 39
Chapter 4 Swimming in French Blood 53
Chapter 5 A Good and Honest Man 71
Chapter 6 A New King of France 83
Chapter 7 The End of Ambition 99
Chapter 8 The Field of the Cloth of Gold 111
Chapter 9 Consequences 123
Chapter 10 The Enemy Within 140
Chapter 11 Nothing Remains Save Honour 160
Chapter 12 The King Without a Country 172
Chapter 13 A King Restored 186
Chapter 14 A Reversal of Fortune 198
Chapter 15 Violent Beginnings and Peaceful Ends 211
Chapter 16 A Trio of Marriages 227
Chapter 17 Allies of Necessity 241
Chapter 18 Friendships Old and New 254
Chapter 19 God Governs the Hearts of Men 268
Chapter 20 'In Spite of These Wretched Backbiters' 282
Chapter 21 Salvation and Redemption 296
Chapter 22 'Tears and Continual Lamentations' 307