The Black Queen

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Although Catherine De' Medici ,("The Black Queen") may not be one of the best known queens of France, that does not mean she wasn't one of the most ruthless queens of all time.

Although Catherine De' Medici ,("The Black Queen") may not be one of the best known queens of France, that does not mean she wasn't one of the most ruthless queens of all time. Catherine De' Medici "The Black Queen,"by Janie Havemeyer, goes into the life of this dark queen. Catherine was born in Florence, Italy, where her family had helped rule for generations. Several weeks after Catherine was born, her parents passed away from an illness. An angry mob burned Rome and forced Catherine's great uncle, Pope Clement to flee while they held the 8 year old Catherine hostage. By the time Catherine was set free at the age of eleven, Pope Clement made an exchange for Catherine's marriage. By the time she was 14, she was married to Prince Henry, the second son of King Francis.On her way to being a queen, she poisoned and tricked people just so she could be in charge. When she was 41, she was declared queen.

 

Why did Catherine get the nickname, "The Black Queen"? Well, first of all, she was interested in the dark arts, she ordered her enemies to be killed (some even claim she poisoned apples and gloves), and Catherine ordered many Protestants to be killed. In one of her castles, there are 237 small cabinets which people believe are where she held her collections of poison. Her other nicknames include "The Maggot from Italy's Tomb" and "Madame La Serpente."

 

I enjoyed this book and found it very interesting and frightening. However the topic is morbid and highly detailed and would not be a good book to read if frightened easily. I would recommend this book if you are interested in history or fascinated in the way rulers would work. If you enjoyed this book I would recommend Mary Tudor " Bloody Mary" by Gretchen Maurer. This book is in a series, The Thinking Girl's Treasury of Dastardly Dames.