- Taschenbuch: 432 Seiten
- Verlag: Touchstone; Auflage: Revised ed. (13. September 2005)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0743251067
- ISBN-13: 978-0743251068
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,5 x 2,5 x 23,5 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.068.266 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
The Serpent and the Moon: Two Rivals for the Love of a Renaissance King (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 13. September 2005
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"A cracking good story...a consummate storyteller."
-- Lucinda Hahn, Chicago Tribune
"A hugely entertaining book...the stuff of high Renaissance drama."
-- Leonie Friede, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
"A sizzling story about love and betrayal in a royal family...a true tale of palace intrigue in the sixteenth century."
-- Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"The author, who knows a thing or two about palace intrigue herself, writes with style and panache and serves up marvelous details of pageantry, court fashion, furniture, and gossip worthy of the master of the genre, the duc de Saint-Simon."
-- Dominick Dunne
As a descendant of both Catherine de Medici and Diane de Poitiers, and an insider who has seen her share of palace intrigues, no writer could be more equipped than Princess Michael of Kent to explore one of history's most fascinating royal love stories. Catherine de Medici was fourteen when she was bartered in marriage to France by her ambitious cousin, Pope Clement VII. Catherine fell in love with her future husband, Henri, at first sight. But Henri had eyes only for his mistress, the beautiful Diane de Poitiers, eighteen years his senior. Diane and Henri ruled as one, their intertwined monograms and signature black and white colours appearing on everything from royal proclamations to palace doorknobs. Catherine, despised at court, watched miserably as Henri became Dauphin and then King, each day growing more devoted to Diane. Only Henri's death at the age of forty-two ended his love for Diane and Catherine's long, agonizing 'hate and wait'. THE SERPENT AND THE MOON is peopled by the most illustrious figures of the time - including Henry VIII of England, Francois I, and Anne Boleyn.A ten-year labour of love from a uniquely qualified writer, this is a moving and personal love story as well as a richly woven history of an extraordinary time. Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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I was appalled--it is chock full of historical detail that make it a very entertaining read. But that entertainment is like reading Cosmopolitan magazine: Princess Michael of Kent has done a commendable job of her research and detail, but the blatant bias in favor of Diane de Poitiers, and the contempt for Catherine de Medici make the book, to put it plainly, rather creepy. And as objective history, it is mud.
Princess Michael makes no secret of her bias, as she refers to Diane in the introduction as her 'heroine.' Everything Diane does is applauded, and held up as graceful, ladylike, classy, mature, selfless, motherly, etc--the adjectives go on and on, becoming increasingly less plausible. Catherine is referred to in such catty terms that it sounds like the book was written by a nasty high-school girl. Catherine is ridiculed for her physical lack of charms, but also for being two-faced, a liar, duplicitous, etc. But when Diane does the same things, she is excused as being 'a woman of her time.'
Princess Michael doesn't trouble herself with historical fact: Diane de Poitiers was a major figure in French Renaissance history, but her avariciousness, greed and manipulation of Henri II are glossed over in this book. Catherine de Medici ruled France as regent for 3 of her sons, and managed to survive and secure the throne in a dangerous and ruthless age by being a highly skillful monarch. She was no more or less ruthless than any other successful ruler of that age, but Princess Michael portrays her as alternately sneaky and petty. She goes into great detail over Catherine's supposed 'vengeance' on Diane after the death of Henri II, but in fact, Catherine was remarkably generous, allowing Diane to retire to her estate at Anet undisturbed when she could easily have hounded her unmercifully.
Read this once for the juicy and entertaining historical details of French Renaissance court life, but don't think for a moment that this is a book of history.
At times this was true, perhaps, and there was some insight. But for the most part it was common knowledge that she reiterated, not really shedding any new light at all. Additionally, as other reviewers had stated, it seems that she really does not like Medici. Strange to take such a strong point of view when writing about history. History should be neutral, not judgemental. A point in her favor is that there probably was hate in Medici, but would this be any different than any other wife of the nobility who was affronted by a concubine and her husbund? No, there wouldn't be, so why put so much emphasis on Catherine?
As well, she focused way too much on the fashion of the time and what each woman was wearing. Certainly this should be included, perhaps as a side note, but not in every single chapter, sometimes going on for pages. Not to mention the fact that she repeated her description of the fashion and fabrics worn over and over again. This should be a history of the relationship of Henri II, Catherine and Diane (as the underlying stated premise of the book , not a rehashing of what they wore on a daily basis).
All in all, if you have free time and can't find a better history book to read, then give it a go. Otherwise, I wouldn't recommend this book.