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

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Little, Brown, Jun 23, 2015 - Biography & Autobiography - 448 pages
3 Reviews
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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - irregularreader - LibraryThing

I received this book as part of a FirstReads giveaway. starting this book, I had next to no knowledge of the subject matter beyond a vague recollection about Catherine de Medici. But I love history ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - janerawoof - LibraryThing

Dual biographies of two French royals of the late 17th century: Marguerite of Valois [Margot] wife and queen of Henry of Navarre and of Catherine de Medici, wife and queen of Henri II, Margot's mother ... Read full review

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About the author (2015)

Nancy Goldstone's previous books include The Maid and the Queen: The Secret History of Joan of Arc; Four Queens: The Provenšal 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.

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