The Tigress of Forlì: Renaissance Italy's Most Courageous and Notorious Countess, Caterina Riario Sforza de Medici
The astonishing life of a long-misunderstood Renaissance virago.
Wife, mother, leader, warrior. Caterina Riario Sforza was one of the most prominent women in Renaissance Italy—and one of the most vilified. In this glittering biography, Elizabeth Lev reexamines her extraordinary life and accomplishments.
Raised in the court of Milan and wed at age ten to the pope’s corrupt ne...more
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"The Tigress of Forli: Renaissance Italy's Most Courageous and Notorious Countess, Caterina Riario Sforza de' Medici" by art historian Elizabeth Lev is a biography which paints a portrait not only of one of the most colorful characters of the Renaissance but of the Renaissance itself. If ever I thought that the films and novels I have seen and read about Renaissance Italy were exaggerated in either the violence...more
"Feminism gone wild", one of the reviewers quoted on the cover...more
The whole point of reading this book was to find out more about Caterina Sforza. I wanted to get a broader sense of who this woman was, what her life was like, how she got to the point of being able to don a cuirass and wield a sword with the best of them, how she became this strong woman I imagined her to be and finally, how she died. I went in having these questions and upon finishing I felt like I got what I wanted. Not only were my questions answered but I looked forward to picking up wh...more
I must confess, I was first attracted to this biography because I knew of Caterina Riario Sforza de Medici through the video game "Assassin's Creed II" and I wanted to learn her full story. Having read Mrs. Lev's first work, I am very glad that I did. In a little less than 300 pages, Mrs. Lev recounts the life of one of the most amazing women in Renaissance history, if not in all of history. Caterina was stubborn, brave, and passionate throug...more
Elizabeth Lev paints Caterina Sforza's story with the expertise of a Renaissance master. We are given the rich tapestry...more
The story of Caterina Sforza is certainly worth telling. Whether you interpret her as admirable or cold-hearted, there is no denying she was a strong, driven woman who playe...more
Caterina is, without any doubt, one of history’s most amazing women. In a time and place where alliance with the ruling party of the moment was a matter not just of prosperity, but of survival, and the...more
I picked this one up almost entirely because it was the biography of a well-known, but non-royal WOMAN in a time where few women had a voice. I had already heard about Caterina Sforza in long-ago history lectures, but hadn't read anything else.
I'm glad I picked it up.
The author has a very accessible writing style, which is imperative if you want to communicate with a non-a...more
I found this to be a extremely well researched and highly enjoyable read. The author clearly has a way with words...more
Born in Milan in 1463 as the illegitimate daughter of Galeazzo Sforza who was heir to the Duchy of Milan, Caterina was accepted as part of th...more
“Caterina was a firsthand witness to the corruption in the [Borgia] family; if she chose to recount her story, she warned that she would ‘shock the world’.” (Lev, p.247)
I first met Caterina Sforza while watching Showtime’s TV series The Borgias. In the drama she was an energetic, intriguing and fascinating character; so full of life and a match for any man. The show made me want to read about the real Caterina and find out about the historical figure behind the programme,...more
Caterina's story is fascinating enough on its own -- this is a woman who married three times, two of them in secret and for love rather than politics; who took command of the Castel Sant'Angelo and held the College of Cardinals to ransom while seven months pregnant; who weathered out sieges and sta...more
Caterina Sforza is one of my favorite historical ladies. A woman who was a head of state, mother, warrior, lover, scholar, strategist, and amateur botanist. A woman who came into contact with the major players of her day - she charmed Pope Sixtus IV, entranced Botticelli, humiliated Machiavelli, defended herself against Cesare Borgia, was admired by the Medici - and held h...more
A readable biography about a truly fascinating woman.
Caterina Sforza was the illegitimate daughter of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan and Lucrezia Landriani. As was usual of illegitimate children of the time, Caterina grew up in her father's home, raised by her stepmother Bona of Savoy.
I could be here all day telling you all the amazing – and sometimes ruthless – things Caterina did. She was married three times and gave birth to nine children. In 1484, while seven months pregnant, Caterin...more