About The Confessions of Catherine de Medici:
The truth is, not one of us is innocent. We all have sins to confess. So reveals Catherine de Medici, the last legitimate descendant of her family’s illustrious line. Expelled from her native Florence, Catherine is betrothed to Henri, son of François I of France. In an unfamiliar realm, Catherine strives to create a role for herself through her patronage of the famous clairvoyant Nostradamus and her own innate gift as a seer. But in her fortieth year, Catherine is widowed, left alone with six young children in a kingdom torn apart by the ambitions of a treacherous nobility. Relying on her tenacity, wit, and uncanny gift for compromise, Catherine seizes power, intent on securing the throne for her sons, unaware that if she is to save France, she may have to sacrifice her ideals, her reputation, and the secret of her embattled heart.
About the Author:
C. W. Gortner, half-Spanish by birth, holds an M.F.A. in writing, with an emphasis on historical studies, from the New College of California and has taught university courses on women of power in the Renaissance. He was raised in Málaga, Spain, and now lives in California.
I went into this knowing very little about Catherine de Medici and I have come out of it wanting to know more. As per most of the women of her time Catherine was bartered into a marriage to a man she did not know. To a man who was already in love with another woman – a woman he could not marry, but would never leave. Diane de Poitiers is renowned in history as one of its most famous mistresses.
Catherine’s legacy is not as pleasant. But was she the devil that history writes her? Through extensive research and a strong feeling for her C.W. Gortner presents not a she witch but rather a mother, a widow, left adrift in a dangerous time, trying to maintain the throne for her children against powerful forces that wanted the kingdom for themselves.
This was an enthralling novel; very hard to put down. You feel Catherine as a young girl in love and you fell her heart break over and over again until she hardens it. She made some horrible decisions but had they been made by a man they would not have been seen in the same light and she did not always have the best advisers.
Francois’ and Henri’s courts are brought to life through the excellent writing and you feel you are there as part of the crowd. Is Catherine de Medici redeemed? You will have to read for yourself.
Other Books by C.W. Gortner: