The inspiration for the STARZ original series, The Serpent Queen, premiering September 11.
“A beautifully written portrait of a ruthless, subtle and fearless woman fighting for survival and power in a world of gangsterish brutality, routine assassination and religious mania. . . . Frieda has brought a largely forgotten heroine-villainess and a whole sumptuously vicious era back to life. . . . This is The Godfather meets Elizabeth.” —Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar
Poisoner, besotted mother, despot, necromancer, engineer of a massacre: the dark legend of Catherine de Medici is centuries old. In this critically hailed biography, Leonie Frieda reclaims the story of this unjustly maligned queen of France to reveal a skilled ruler battling extraordinary political and personal odds.
Based on comprehensive research including thousands of Catherine’s own letters, Frieda unfurls Catherine’s story from her troubled childhood in Florence to her tumultuous marriage to Henry II of France; her transformation of French culture to her reign as a queen who would use brutality to ensure her children’s royal birthright. Brilliantly executed, this enthralling biography goes beyond myth to paint a very human portrait of this remarkable figure.