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January 2011: Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France

A monthly discussion on varying themes guided by our members. (Book of the Month discussions through December 2011 can be found in this section too.)
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Tue February 8th, 2011, 7:23 pm

Nearly done. The author did a good job. However, she did not resuscitate Catherine's reputation for me. As my first full-on pass (as opposed to glancing sideswipes) on C.de M., I found the woman repulsive. Multi-faceted, of course; everyone is, and brilliant people more so than others. But quite loathsome. Someone who uses people and values things, instead of the other way around.

I'm very glad to have read it, though. patched up quite a few gaps for me. But I now realize why France is my least favorite part of the renaissance.

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SonjaMarie
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Post by SonjaMarie » Tue February 8th, 2011, 9:29 pm

I just started this yesterday, so far so good.

SM
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Jemidar
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Post by Jemidar » Fri February 18th, 2011, 10:33 pm

I'm getting bogged down in Frances' Wars of Religion which I know nothing about. I'm not finding my understanding of events is expanding either...my eyes are just glazing over :( .
Jenny

"Well-behaved women rarely make history."
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fljustice
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Post by fljustice » Sat February 19th, 2011, 4:45 pm

[quote=""Jemidar""]I'm getting bogged down in Frances' Wars of Religion which I know nothing about. I'm not finding my understanding of events is expanding either...my eyes are just glazing over :( .[/quote]

It did seem to be just one long war with a few years' break in between active hostilities. I thought the interesting part, was that Catherine was usually involved in the peace treaties and they all seemed to favor the protestants. The crown was chronically short of money and that was usually the reason for the peace, rather than any humanistic tendencies.
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SonjaMarie
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Post by SonjaMarie » Sat February 19th, 2011, 7:19 pm

This may seem like a nitpick but Leonie says that hankerchiefs originated in Venice, where as I had always heard that Richard II of England invented it.

SM
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