Blood, Fire and Gold: The story of Elizabeth I and Catherine de Medici

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Blood, Fire and Gold: The story of Elizabeth I and Catherine de Medici

Blood, Fire and Gold: The story of Elizabeth I and Catherine de Medici

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She has been featured in several international historical television documentaries, including The Boleyns: A Scandalous Family and Secrets d’Histoire, as well as the history podcasts like HistoryHit, Not Just the Tudors, and Talking Tudors. The author doesn't shy away from exploring the negative side of her subjects and it is utterly refreshing to see that these powerhouse women are not pitted against one another but simply respected for their importance they gained in their own right. She was walking a fine line between personal faith and the stability of the realm amidst the wars of religion. Overall though, extremely informative and it’s hard to find good history book authors that actually know how to tell a story.

Blood, Fire and Gold is a treasure house of historical detail that transports readers back to a time when court intrigue was quite literally a matter of life and death-especially for the women thrust into its dark heart. Shining new light on their legendary kingdoms Blood, Fire and Gold provides a new way of looking at two of history's most powerful women, and how they shaped each other as profoundly as they shaped the course of history. I really enjoyed the juxtaposition of these two monarchs' lives (it was really more like three monarchs because Mary Queen of Scots plays a big role, too).This book gets a little hard to follow in audiobook format as you try to keep track of the various English and French diplomats and their conversations with Catherine and Elizabeth, but it is otherwise a worthwhile and enjoyable read/listen. The English public were hoodwinked time and time again, swallowing whole tales of a woman who gave birth to rabbits, a levitating Frenchman in a Chinese Temple and outrageous astrological predictions. Estelle Paranque comes here to reveal the intimate details that brings to life the two most powerful female rulers of that century. Instead we are asked to believe that perhaps Elizabeth might actually marry a French king, or that the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots left Elizabeth “seemingly dumbfounded” and was due to “exhaustion and panic,” not her perfectly honed instinct for survival.

The author does a good job of asessing the queens in a fairly balanced way, as well as not making them rivals or good/bad, but rather women as well as rulers living in a 16th century world. It succeeds on many levels simultaneously, and is so interesting and engaging that I will certainly seek out other books on this period and other books by this author. The sources of some of the speeches and letters are footnoted, but most are not, and in those cases it seems to me that the author has invented dialogue, pauses, and facial gestures like smiles; and then the book reads like a novel.Not only is the writing style somewhat lacking a proper scholarly tone and thus discounts the work right from the start; but, this early content is easily ignored by those well-versed on the subject as there is nothing new to absorb. By merging biographies of Elizabeth I of England and Catherine de' Medici of France into a study of their relationship, Paranque crafts a marvelous lens for appreciating history that manages to be informative, thoroughly engaging, and remarkably brief—all at once. This deep empathy in her writing makes her book an exciting read—it's never, ever dry, because you feel like you're in the midst of the action with Elizabeth, Catherine, and their ambassadors. Catherine is too often portrayed as a scheming poisoner, but she was a queen who lost her husband and 3 sons while trying to guide France through a tumultuous time of religious unrest. By the time they landed on Gold Beach on D-Day, they were toughened by experience and ready for combat.

Fortunately, the book gets good as Paranque focuses on relations of the two powerful women in 3 main issues: 1. accessible and unpretentious' The Telegraph'A stunning portrayal of two of the most powerful women in European history' Tracy Borman'Exciting and compelling, packed full of tantalising details of diplomacy and court life, Paranque succeeds both in bringing history to life, but also in putting flesh on the bones of these two extraordinary women and rival queens' Kate Mosse'A smart and stylish portrait of two of Europe's most remarkable rulers, a compelling profile of female power and - that rarest of things - a truly original book about the Tudor period' Jessie ChildsIn sixteenth-century Europe, two women came to hold all the power, against all the odds. What follows is a fascinating study of the diplomatic struggles and religious tensions of sixteenth-century Europe with two of the most influential figures at its helm.

conveys the relationship between these two remarkable women with zest and insight and with sympathy.

Paranque expertly reminds us of the gravitational pull of Spain on our protagonists without bogging the story down with too much detail.The book tells the story of the relationship between Elizabeth I of England and Catherine de Medici of France. But she supported the Huguenots in the eight religious civil wars in France between 1562 and 1593, which of course put a strain on the relationship between the two women. In most (maybe all) the literature I’ve read, Catherine disappears from Mary's life once Mary sets sail for Scotland… sort of a goodbye and good riddance. This story of the two queens was very readable and told in such a way I did not want to put the book down! Francis II died of an ear infection at the end of that year, and Mary left France for Scotland in 1561.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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