Pub. Date:
Francis I: The Maker of Modern France

Francis I: The Maker of Modern France

by Leonie Frieda


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Thursday, September 30


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.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061563119
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/26/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 564,206
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(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

Maps xi

Genealogical Tables xvii

List of Principal Characters xxvii

List of Monarchs of France xxxi

Introduction 1

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

Epilogue 319

Notes 323

Bibliography 329

Acknowledgements 337

Index 339

Customer Reviews