The Italian Woman: A Catherine de' Medici Novel

Paperback | January 1, 2013

byJean Plaidy

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From the grande dame of historical fiction, the second novel in the classic trilogy—back in print after more than twenty years—brilliantly depicts the life of the powerful Queen who was loved by few and feared by many.

The second book in the classic Catherine de’ Medici trilogy from Jean Plaidy, the grande dame of historical fiction

When Catherine de’ Medici was forced to marry Henry, Duke of Orleans, her heart was not the only one that was broken. Jeanne of Navarre once dreamed of marrying this same prince, but, like Catherine, she must comply with France’s political needs. And so both Catherine’s and Jeanne’s lives are set on unwanted paths, destined to cross in affairs of state, love, and faith, driving them to become deadly political rivals.

Years later Jeanne is happily married to the dashing but politically inept Antoine de Bourbon. But the widowed Catherine is now the ambitious mother of princes, and she will do anything to see her beloved second son, Henry, rule France. As civil war ravages the country and Jeanne fights for the Huguenot cause, Catherine advances along her unholy road, making enemies at every turn.

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From the grande dame of historical fiction, the second novel in the classic trilogy—back in print after more than twenty years—brilliantly depicts the life of the powerful Queen who was loved by few and feared by many.The second book in the classic Catherine de’ Medici trilogy from Jean Plaidy, the grande dame of historical fiction Whe...

Jean Plaidy was a British writer who wrote under various pen names. Her real name is Eleanor Alice Burford Hibbert. She was born in London on September 1, 1906. Most of the books written as Jean Plaidy are historical romances based on English history featuring historical figures. The first, Beyond the Blue Mountains, was published in 1...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.9 inPublished:January 1, 2013Publisher:TouchstoneLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1451686528

ISBN - 13:9781451686524

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Compelling trilogy of Catherine de Medici Both Catherine and Jeane are strong-willed, outspoken, intelligent, and dynamic. Since childhood, the paths of these stalwart women continually cross, forcing them to encounter each other in political and social occasions. While Catherine was unpopular, Jeanne was well liked despite her tendency to be unyielding and stubborn. This brings plenty of conflict into the story – Catholic vs Protestant, marital successes vs marital failures, deviousness vs straightforwardness, and much more. Despite their differences, they were similar in their love for their children, their ambitions, and their passion for France. Their rivalry intensifies with each page until their enmity becomes unmanageable. Now a widow, Catherine begins to take vengeance on her husband’s mistress, Diane de Poitiers, after years of humiliation. Although her eldest son is now king, she desires to see Henry, her favourite child and will do all that she can to put him there. As dowager queen and regent for her son, she can wield power over Jeanne. Jeanne, princess of France, is Catherine’s late husband’s cousin. Jeanne is a staunch Huguenot Protestant while Catherine is devoutly Catholic. In the political arena, this places them at odds with Protestant England and Catholic Spain, bringing great tension and historical detail into the story. Jean Plaidy is one of the great historical fiction authors of our time. Her books have been favourites and bestsellers for decades. She has a knack for taking complex stories and tell them in an easy, exciting way. Catherine de Medici is depicted as a no-nonsense, hard-headed, conniving woman who must survive in a court fraught with intrigue, danger, and deadly political ambitions. Sometimes, the author fell into the trap of “telling” too much instead of bringing the story to life through action, but wonderful descriptions, historical details that enrich, and compelling characters bring to life this fascinating time in history and the two women who struggled to survive within its confines.
Date published: 2013-01-02

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Editorial Reviews

"Plaidy has brought the past to life."