The Rival Queens

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781780224770

Price: £12.99

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‘A gripping tale of royal feuds and divided kingdoms’ – AMANDA FOREMAN

Paris, 1572. Catherine de’ Medici, the infamous queen mother of France, is a consummate pragmatist and powerbroker who has dominated the throne for thirty years. Her youngest daughter, Marguerite, the glamorous ‘Queen Margot’, is a passionate free spirit, the only adversary whom her mother can neither intimidate nor fully control.

When Catherine forces the Catholic Marguerite to marry the Protestant Henry of Navarre, she creates not only savage conflict within France but also a potent rival within her own family. Treacherous court politics, poisonings, international espionage and adultery form the background to a extraordinary story about two formidable queens, featuring a fascinating array of characters including such celebrated figures as Elizabeth I, Mary, Queen of Scots and Nostradamus.


One of the challenges facing any historian of this period is the sheer profusion of themes that need to be handled ... What makes Goldstone's biography so enjoyable is that she manages, thanks to the clarity of her presentation, to lead readers through this labyrinth with a sure and steady hand ... She is a popular historian whose writing is based on very serious research, with a gift for telling the most complicated tale in vivid, accessible prose
This engrossing, action-packed narrative immerses readers in a tumultuous period of European history
A gripping tale of royal feuds and divided kingdoms
Nancy Goldstone leads her reader with a very sure hand through the most dramatic events of Renaissance France. Her narrative is so gripping that THE RIVALS unfolds like a thriller
Goldstone upends conventional thought with this well-researched and well-written book, arguing that Catherine de' Medici (1519-1589), the French queen mother, was less Machiavellian in nature than generally believed and that she reacted to geopolitical situations with disastrous results for both her family and France ... Goldstone's witty comments make this historical family drama as easy to read as the best fiction, but it's all the more tragic for being true
A thrilling tale packed with historical details and shocking revelations. Nancy Goldstone writes with cinematic clarity and vividly brings to life two indomitable women whose ambitions changed the course of European history