Catherine de' Medici

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Medici, Catherine de':

see Catherine de' MediciCatherine de' Medici
, 1519–89, queen of France, daughter of Lorenzo de' Medici, duke of Urbino. She was married (1533) to the duc d'Orléans, later King Henry II.
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Catherine de' Medici

(dĕ mĕd`ĭchē, Ital. dā mĕ`dēchē), 1519–89, queen of France, daughter of Lorenzo de' Medici, duke of Urbino. She was married (1533) to the duc d'Orléans, later King Henry II. Neglected during the reign of her husband and that of her eldest son, Francis II, she became (1560) regent for her son Charles IXCharles IX,
1550–74, king of France. He succeeded (1560) his brother Francis II under the regency of his mother, Catherine de' Medici. She retained her influence throughout his reign.
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, who succeeded Francis. She remained Charles's adviser until his death (1574). Concerned primarily with preserving the power of the king in the religious conflicts of the time, with the aid of her chancellor Michel de L'HôpitalL'Hôpital or L'Hospital, Michel de
, c.1505–1573, chancellor of France under Catherine de' Medici.
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, she at first adopted a conciliatory policy toward the Huguenots, or French Protestants. The outbreak (1562) of the Wars of Religion (see Religion, Wars ofReligion, Wars of,
1562–98, series of civil wars in France, also known as the Huguenot Wars.

The immediate issue was the French Protestants' struggle for freedom of worship and the right of establishment (see Huguenots).
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), however, led her to an alliance with the Catholic party under François de Guise (see under GuiseGuise
, influential ducal family of France. The First Duke of Guise

The family was founded as a cadet branch of the ruling house of Lorraine by Claude de Lorraine, 1st duc de Guise, 1496–1550, who received the French fiefs of his father, René II, duke
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, family). After the defeat of royal troops by the Huguenot leader Gaspard de ColignyColigny, Gaspard de Châtillon, comte de
, 1519–72, French Protestant leader. A nephew of Anne, duc de Montmorency, he came to the French court at an early age.
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, Catherine agreed (1570) to the peace of St. Germain. Subsequently Coligny gained considerable influence over Charles IX. Fearing for her own power, and opposed to Coligny's schemes for expansion in the Low Countries which might lead to war with Spain, Catherine and Henri de Guise arranged Coligny's assassination. When the first attempt failed, she took part in planning the massacre of Saint Bartholomew's DaySaint Bartholomew's Day, massacre of,
murder of French Protestants, or Huguenots, that began in Paris on Aug. 24, 1572. It was preceded, on Aug. 22, by an attempt, ordered by Catherine de' Medici, on the life of the Huguenot leader Admiral Coligny.
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 (1572) in which Coligny and hundreds of other Protestants were murdered. After the accession of her third son, Henry III, she vainly tried to revive her old conciliatory policy.


See E. Sichel, Catherine de' Medici and the French Reformation (1905, repr. 1969) and The Later Years of Catherine de' Medici (1908, repr. 1969); P. Van Dyke, Catherine de Médicis (1922); R. Roeder, Catherine de' Medici and the Lost Revolution (1937); Sir J. E. Neale, The Age of Catherine de Medici (1962); W. H. Ross, Catherine de' Medici (1973).

References in classic literature ?
In the year 1800, toward the close of October, a foreigner, accompanied by a woman and a little girl, was standing for a long time in front of the palace of the Tuileries, near the ruins of a house recently pulled down, at the point where in our day the wing begins which was intended to unite the chateau of Catherine de Medici with the Louvre of the Valois.
Chateau de Chenonceau's ambitious Queen Mother Catherine de Medici used to hire an Escadron Volant (literally, Flying Squad) of half-naked women to jump out from behind bushes and seduce her guests - whom she then blackmailed.
Then there's the infant Catherine de Medici, hidden down a well in a bucket to avoid her being used as a political pawn by her uncle, the pope.
He became advisor for the Queen, Catherine de Medici, who believed in Nostradamus' predictions, even when he drew up the tragic fates of the seven Valois children.
For an account of these attempts, especially by Michel de LHospital in behalf of the interests of Catherine de Medici, see Smith, 19-50.
The most psychologically fascinating aspect of "Women's Voices" is Brooks' detailed description of the artistic representation of Catherine de Medici as Artemisia (queen of Caria in the fourth century B.
Woolf and Catharine Randall); and the blossoming of royal vitae (other than unusual "lives" of Catherine de Medici elegantly analyzed by Sheila Ffolliott.
The French Renaissance is explored through a series of four articles treating the debate between Erasmus and Dolet regarding Ciceronian rhetoric, the use of the novella genre to recount rape scenes in Marguerite de Navarre's Heptameron, the depiction of Catherine de Medici as idealized queenly prototype, and the effect of Montaigne's initial retreat from society and the psychology of the Essais.
This argument--which was advanced most eloquently in Lucien Romier's Le royaume de Catherine de Medici (1922)--provides the basis for Desan's contention that the struggle between ideologies would yield a new mode of discourse.
The Renaissance French monarchy of Catherine de Medici and her sons repeatedly failed to keep order.
In this memorable fictional appearance, Catherine de Medici may be the first female character created by a woman writer of this period.