The Tigress of Forli: Renaissance Italy's Most Courageous and Notorious Countess, Caterina Riario Sforza de' Medici

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Oct 18, 2011 - History - 320 pages
“In this insightful, fascinating portrayal, Elizabeth Lev brings Caterina Sforza and her times very much to life.”—Kathleen Turner, actress and author of Send Yourself Roses

A strategist to match Machiavelli; a warrior who stood toe to toe with the Borgias; a wife whose three marriages would end in bloodshed and heartbreak; and a mother determined to maintain her family’s honor, Caterina Riario Sforza de’ Medici was a true Renaissance celebrity, beloved and vilified in equal measure. In this dazzling biography, Elizabeth Lev illuminates her extraordinary life and accomplishments.

Raised in the court of Milan and wed at age ten to the pope’s corrupt nephew, Caterina was ensnared in Italy’s political intrigues early in life. After turbulent years in Rome’s papal court, she moved to the Romagnol province of Forlì. Following her husband’s assassination, she ruled Italy’s crossroads with iron will, martial strength, political savvy, and an icon’s fashion sense. In finally losing her lands to the Borgia family, she put up a resistance that inspired all of Europe and set the stage for her progeny—including Cosimo de’ Medici—to follow her example to greatness.

A rich evocation of Renaissance life, The Tigress of Forlì reveals Caterina Riario Sforza as a brilliant and fearless ruler, and a tragic but unbowed figure.

“A rich, nuanced portrait of a highly controversial beauty and military leader, and her violent, albeit glittering, Italian Renaissance milieu.”—Publishers Weekly

“Well-written and meticulously researched, The Tigress of Forlì recreates the world of Renaissance Italy in all its grandeur and violence. At the center stands a remarkable woman, Caterina Riario Sforza. Mother, warrior, and icon, Caterina is unforgettable, and so is the exciting story that Elizabeth Lev tells here.”—Barry Strauss, author of Masters of Command: Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, and the Genius of Leadership
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - antiquary - LibraryThing

This is the first life of Caterina Riario Sforza de' Medici, countess of Imola and Forli, known chiefly for her brave though ultimately unsuccessful stand against Cesare Borgia. Before that, she had ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - tzugirl - LibraryThing

An interesting history of what life was like for a woman of priviledge at the time of the Italian renaissance period during the reign of the Borgias. Although Caterina Riario Sforza de'Medici's life ... Read full review

Contents

Notes
274
Sources
284
Index
290
Back Flap
317
Back Cover
318
Spine
319
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About the author (2011)

ELIZABETH LEV is a scholar of Renaissance art and culture. She lives with her family in Rome, where she teaches college art history, gives tours of the city and the Vatican, and is a columnist for an international news service.

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