Catherine de Médicis

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Catherine de Médicis


Born Apr. 13, 1519, in Florence; died Jan. 5, 1589, in Blois. French queen.

In 1533, Catherine, a member of the Medici family of Florence, married Henry II, who reigned as king of France from 1547 to 1559. During the reigns of her sons Francis II (from 1559 to 1560), Charles IX (from 1560 to 1574), and Henry III (from 1574 to 1589), she determined state policy to a considerable extent. During the religious wars she sought to bar the nobles from running the affairs of state. Catherine was maneuvering in her policy-making. In 1570 she insisted on the conclusion of the Treaty of St. Germain with the Huguenots. However, in 1572, fearing the increased power of the Huguenots and especially the strength of their leader Coligny’s influence on Charles IX, Catherine was one of the principal organizers of the Massacre of St. Bartholomew.


Castelnau, J. Catherine de Médicis (1519–1589). Paris [1954].
Héritier, J. Catherine de Médicis. Paris [1959].
References in periodicals archive ?
2) In this case, I argue that Shakespeare's Tamora powerfully evokes the Catherine de Medicis understood by popular and political discourse in late Elizabethan England as well as the Catherine de Medicis represented in two pre-texts or co-texts: Anne Dowriche's narrative poem, The French History, and Christopher Marlowe's play, The Massacre at Paris.
After the sudden death of her husband Henri II and eldest son Francois II, Catherine de Medicis was able to transform her identity as a wife, widow, and mother into political agency as regent for Charles IX.
The increasing number of songs of this type to be found in collections of airs paralleled the expanding presence of women at court, especially in the large retinue of the Queen Mother, Catherine de Medicis.
An example of this problem is the presentation of Catherine de Medicis, who is featured in three or four chapters (as wife, mother, widow, Regent, etc.
Sheila ffolliott's "Women in the Garden of Allegory: Catherine de Medicis and the Locus of Female Rule" tends to assume its conclusions at the outset and Hilary Ballon's careful and interesting analysis of "Vaux-le-Vicomte: Le Vau's Ambition" concludes with an odd leap to an attractive, but essentially unargued conclusion concerning the "search for a classical French idiom.
La translation de la depouille du roi Manuel I de Portugal au monastere des Jeronimos (1551)"; Giovanni Ricci, "Les funerailles en effigie en Italie (Ferrare, Venise, Florence, Mantoue, Milan)"; Isabelle Balsamo, "Les tombeaux des Guises"; Alain Culliere, "Les funerailles du duc de Mercoeur a Nancy (1602)"; Georges Frecher, "Formes et fonctions des livres de Pompes funebres"; Isabelle de Conihout and Pascal Ract-Madoux, "Venues, penitents et tombeaux: reliures francaises du XVI[subset] siecle a motifs funebres, de Catherine de Medicis a Henri III"; Max Engammare, "L'inhumation de Calvin et des pasteurs genevois de 1540 a 1620.
21) Exempla of licentious and incestuous queens appear in works from Bocaccio's De Claris Mulieribus through the poetry of Louise Labe, while attacks on Catherine de Medicis a generation later show how these images persisted as a cultural stereotype from which to mount an assault on female rule.
The final part (Sanctuary) follows her direction of the Calvinist cause from the death of her husband's brother, Louis de Conde, in March 1569, through the uneasy peace of Saint-Germain seventeen months later, to her own death after negotiating with Catherine de Medicis the marriage of her son to the queen mother's daughter, "la Reine Margot," a few weeks before the massacre of St.
Two emblematic sites were selected for these colloquia: the first on women and power was organized in October 1995 at the chateau of Blois where several Renaissance queens, Anne de Bretagne, Claude de France, and Catherine de Medicis held court; the second on women and learning took place in September 1995 near the chateau of Chantilly, reputed for its magnificent library.
This original project was suggested to her by the facts that the two women were born a month apart (April-May, 1553), and that they both played important roles, as wives and queens for Henri III and Henri IV, in the last years of the Valois dynasty, under the watchful eye of Catherine de Medicis.
Agrippa d'Aubignes body of texts glances briefly at women, notably in his autobiography, Sa vie a ses enfants, his "Lettre a roes filles," and in portions of Les tragiques, particularly those segments devoted to decrying Catherine de Medicis and to describing a few exemplary women martyrs.
Historians and adepts of popular culture will enjoy Nicole Cazauran's critical edition of the Discours merveilleux de la vie, actions & deportemens de Catherine de Medicis Royne mere (1575), a work subtitled "in which are told the ways she used to usurp the kingdom of France and to ruin its state" and written after the Saint Bartholomew's Massacre to circulate the image of a "fatally malefic" (22) queen through the pamphlet and early mazarinade.