The Rival Queens: Catherine de' Medici, Her Daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal that Ignited a Kingdom

The Rival Queens: Catherine de' Medici, Her Daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal that Ignited a Kingdom

by Nancy Goldstone


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316409667
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 04/19/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 232,943
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Nancy Goldstone's previous books include The Maid and the Queen: The Secret History of Joan of Arc; Four Queens: The Provençal Sisters Who Ruled Europe; and The Lady Queen: The Notorious Reign of Joanna I, Queen of Naples, Jerusalem, and Sicily. She has also coauthored five books with her husband, Lawrence Goldstone. She lives in Sagaponack, New York.

Table of Contents

Selected Genealogy of the French Royal Family 2

Introduction: Paris, the Church of Notre-Dame, August 18, 1572 3

Part I Margot's Mother, Catherine de' Medici

1 "The Queen, My Mother" 11

2 The King Is Dead, Long Live the King 31

3 The Queen and the Colloquy 50

4 A Short War… 67

5 …And a Long Trip 77

Part II Catherine's Daughter Marguerite de Valois

6 The Flying Squadron 99

7 Fall from Grace 118

8 The Marriage Trap 133

9 Queen Margot 151

10 Queen of Paris 176

11 Of Mignons and Mistresses 197

12 The Great Escape 213

13 A Royal Hostage 231

14 Queen of Spies 245

15 Royal Rivalries 263

16 Queen of Navarre 280

Part III The Rival Queens

17 The Lovers's War 293

18 A Royal Scandal 309

19 The Queen's Revolt 327

20 Prisoner of War 343

21 Three Funerals and a Mass 356

22 The Return of the Queen 370

Epilogue 387

Acknowledgments 391

Notes 393

Selected Bibliography 417

Illustration Credits 421

Index 423

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The Rival Queens: Catherine de' Medici, Her Daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal that Ignited a Kingdom 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
JTisoGarvey More than 1 year ago
Goldstone is an incredible writer and as soon as I finished Rival Queens I bought another book by her. I literally could not put this book down. Sometimes I find books that focus on much older time periods can be dry, but this read like a soap opera (and I mean that in the best way), people were so dramatic back then! Absolutely recommend this book as well as the author. It easily became one of my favorite books I have ever read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago