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The Confessions of Catherine de Medici (Hardcover)
The truth is, none of us are innocent. We all have sins to confess.
So reveals Catherine de Medici in this brilliantly imagined novel about one of history’s most powerful and controversial women. To some she was the ruthless queen who led France into an era of savage violence. To others she was the passionate savior of the French monarchy. Acclaimed author C. W. Gortner brings Catherine to life in her own voice, allowing us to enter into the intimate world of a woman whose determination to protect her family’s throne and realm plunged her into a lethal struggle for power.
The last legitimate descendant of the illustrious Medici line, Catherine suffers the expulsion of her family from her native Florence and narrowly escapes death at the hands of an enraged mob. While still a teenager, she is betrothed to Henri, son of François I of France, and sent from Italy to an unfamiliar realm where she is overshadowed and humiliated by her husband’s lifelong mistress. Ever resilient, 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 as regent of a kingdom torn apart by religious discord and 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. She allies herself with the enigmatic Protestant leader Coligny, with whom she shares an intimate secret, and implacably carves a path toward peace, unaware that her own dark fate looms before her—a fate that, if she is to save France, will demand the sacrifice of her ideals, her reputation, and the passion of her embattled heart.
From the fairy-tale châteaux of the Loire Valley to the battlefields of the wars of religion to the mob-filled streets of Paris, The Confessions of Catherine de Medici is the extraordinary untold journey of one of the most maligned and misunderstood women ever to be queen.
About the Author
C. W. Gortner, half-Spanish by birth, holds an M.F.A. in writing, with an emphasis on historical studies, from the New College of California and has taught university courses on women of power in the Renaissance. He was raised in Malaga, Spain, and now lives in California.
"The notorious Catherine de Medici emerges as a flesh-and-blood woman in this masterful recounting of her life. C.W. Gortner has an uncanny ability to delve into the intense humanness of his characters." —Margaret George, author of The Autobiography of Henry VIII
"Powerful and determined, Catherine de Medici strides across the treacherous glamour of 16th century France in this breathtaking novel . . . With an exquisite eye for detail and deep sensitivity, Gortner evokes a woman of immense personality and resolve, who never gave up on her children or country. You will not be able to put this book down!" —Michelle Moran, author of Nefertiti
"The Confessions of Catherine de Medici is a dramatic, epic novel of an all-too-human woman whose strength and passion propelled her into the center of grand events. Meticulously-researched, this engrossing novel offers a fresh portrait of a queen who has too often been portrayed as a villain. Bravo Mr. Gortner! " —Sandra Gulland, author of The Josephine B Trilogy and Mistress of the Sun
"An intriguing and provocative book about one of history's most controversial queens and the turbulent world of 16th century France."—Sharon Penman, author of The Devil's Brood
"Thrilling and original . . . a dramatic portrait of a brilliant queen and a realm divided by dissension." —Stephanie Cowell, author of Claude and Camille and Mozart’s Sister