Allan Massie

Reigning Over Terror

Catherine De Medici


Weidenfeld & Nicolson 440pp £20 order from our bookshop

I HAVE THE impression that the second half of the sixteenth century in France is little known here, neglected even by historical novelists, at least since the splendid Stanley Weyman a hundred years ago. (Are any of his books in mint? If not, why not?) Academic historians , , have, of course, given the period their attention, notably Kobert Knecht, but even Catherine de Medici, the subject of this admirable new biography, is probably little more than a name to most English readers, even to those who gobble up biographies of her daughter-in-law Mary Queen of Scots or of Elizabeth I. The Latter, incidentally, for some years flirted , . with. the idea of marrying ‘another of Catherine’s sons, whom she described affectionately as her ‘little Frog’. “

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Whom did Picasso label a 'bristly pig'? Read Rosalind P Blakesley's review of The Collector by Natalya Semenova to… ,
    • Alexandra Gajda on Anna Beer's new biography, Patriot or Traitor: The Life and Death of Sir Walter Ralegh ,
    • Mark Lawson reviews @jonathancoe's Middle England - The Rotters' Club for our Brexit age. ,
    • 'Behind every book that is published lies ... a haunted landscape, populated by the ghosts of things written and ex… ,
    • 'We once more live in a great age of dragon invention' Here's Tom Shippey on Martin Arnold's The Dragon ,
    • RT : Man at the q&a part of the book panel: Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't s… ,
    • Here's @epkaufm's Whiteshift, reviewed in this month's magazine by ,