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The Italian Woman: A Catherine de' Medici Novel
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The Italian Woman: A Catherine de' Medici Novel (Catherine de Medici #2)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  560 ratings  ·  23 reviews
The second book in the classic Catherine de’ Medici trilogy from Jean Plaidy, the grande dame of historical fiction

When Catherine de’ Medici was forced to marry Henry, Duke of Orleans, her heart was not the only one that was broken. Jeanne of Navarre once dreamed of marrying this same prince, but, like Catherine, she must comply with France’s
ebook, 400 pages
Published January 1st 2013 by Touchstone (first published June 1st 1952)
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The Italian Woman was my first Jean Plaidy and it was Catherine de Medici at her best. Unfortunately I read the middle book of the trilogy first but I can't wait now to read Queen Jezebel. Anything to do with the Medici family fascinates me - an enjoyable Bank Holiday read.
More about Catherine de Medici after the death of her husband, the King of France, Henry 2nd- she tried to ruled her 1st son Frances 2nd who was king and let him die from an ear infection because he was under the influence of the Guise family thru their niece Mary Queen of Scotts. Her 2nd son, King Charles 7th was mad and she greatly influenced him but he was so stupid that she longed for her 3rd son, Henry to become king. She poisoned many of her enemies and took part on one side and then the o ...more
Rebecca Hill
Catherine de Medici is the most untrusted woman in France. She is however, the most understated woman in France as well. Kept on the sidelines for years, her enemies have no idea what she is capable of, or how far she will go to get what she wants, and what she feels she deserves.

In the Italian Woman, we see the nature of Catherine de Medici coming out, and her enemies are starting to realize that she is a woman not to be messed with. How far will she go to get her hearts desire?

Great read! I l
Sara W
I would really consider this worth a 3.5 rating instead of a full 4. This is the second book in Jean Plaidy's trilogy on Catherine de Medici. This book was better than the first book, but it was still kind of slow for me. It mostly dealt with the fighting between the Catholics and Huguenots in France. There were all sorts of comments about Catherine poisoning people or having them poisoned (especially those of lower rank), but you never actually witness this happening except for one or two times ...more
I was disappointed in this book. It was a bit boring considering the 2 females were interesting historical figures. It ended very abruptly. I know it is part of a series but it did not end well. The Queen of Navarre was a predominant focus for the first part of the book and then she almost disappears for the remainder. I usually like Jean Plaidy's work but thought this was substandard.
Catherine de' Medici , a Queen much surrounded by speculation and a woman which ruled Kings.
This book was very insightful in both the lives of Catherine and Jeane of Navarre , and the rivalry the two shared all their lives. Unfortunately I read this book first and didn't realise it was part of a trilogy , and now I'm looking forward to the sequel .
Here as a ring... This was a follow up to Madame Serpent which I read a few weeks ago. I'm not sure I would have bothered to plow through if I hadn't had it here as a ring, which I admit is one of the reasons I like rings - they give me the extra impetus to make efforts with books I might just push to the side. I enjoyed being able to place all the names which were familiar to me thanks to the decades I lived in France but which didn't have much susbstance for me... Condé, Coligny, and on and on ...more
Sherry Chiger
I know Jean Plaidy is considered a doyenne of historical fiction, thanks to her immaculate research and attention to detail. And I hate when a historical novel gets the facts wrong. But historical accuracy alone does not a gripping novel make. I felt that Plaidy forgot the cardinal rule of good writing: Show, don't tell. Instead we got lots and lots of telling--in sometimes clunky syntax to boot. The end result was that I felt I'd learned a lot about Catherine de Medici, her children, and her co ...more
Michaela Rhua
This was more about the political wheeling and dealing with Catherine at the centre.
The fascinating story of Catherine d'Mecidis and her time as queen regent in France up to the events prior to St. Barthelemy's massacre.
A well written and documented historical novel, in which all major characters are well drown and so strong the reader gets involve and even takes sides.
Even though madame Catherine did some terrible things, the portrait the author offers is that of a woman full of doubts, rancor, and power-thirst, but also a woman incapable of understanding or loving others.
The first two books in this three book series would have been MUCH better as a single (although large) volume. The second book is much better than the first. This one does give a lot more background information, although it still often skips over major events (wars) with a single sentence. It also fails to tell why she is oftente so timid in dealing with adversaries, but much better than the first.

Good read.
Shelly Benson
One thing that greatly disappointed me about this book (number 2 in the trilogy) was that very little mention was given to Diane after the King passed away. I was really looking forward to Catherine taking her revenge when it was in her power (finally) to do so. Otherwise, I enjoyed this book. It could be read out of sequence or on it's own. It didn't pick up right where book one left off at all.
Justin Neville
Dragged a bit more than the previous book in the trilogy and a much less balanced portrayal of the main character. True, she would have become harder and more confident - but a little bit of occasional doubt or remorse would have been more convincing.
The Italian woman is truly captivating. It shows how Catherine de Medici truly became evil. She never really loved her children although she professed to love Henri. The only thing she loved was power and she would do anything to hold onto it
I loved the follow up to "Madame Serpent". In "The Italian Woman", you begin to lose the sympathy you may have had for Catherine in the first book. This book gives account of Catherine becoming a hardened, ruthless regent of France.
Gave up on this one. It's not badly written, but this was written back in the 1950's and I think current research just doesn't jell with the portrait of Catherine here as pure evil.
Gabriela Martinez
This is definitely the best book of the Catherine of Medici's saga. I just love how Plaidy can explain the psychological evolution of the character.
The Italian Woman, by Jean Plaidy. 2nd in the Catherine de'Medici trilogy. A novel of Catherine de'Medici and Jeanne of Navarre.
Helene Zhu
Amazing sequel.. This is a great historical book and an insight to a tormented woman who tries to keep the crown in the family.
Found this book very interesting. The french feature film 'Queen Margot' also gave an insight into Catherine Medici.
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
A rather lackluster and dry interpretation of part of Catherine de' Medici's life.

Review to come.
The second volume of the Catherine de Medici series. I liked this.
Had a hard time getting through this but it was worth it in the end.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 12, 2015 11:08AM  
  • Eleanor the Queen
  • Courtesan
  • The Falcons Of Montabard
  • My Enemy, the Queen
  • Murder of a Medici Princess
  • The Forbidden Queen
  • The French Mistress: A Novel of the Duchess of Portsmouth and King Charles II
  • Duchessina: A Novel of Catherine de' Medici (Young Royals, #5)
  • The Stuarts
  • Lucrezia Borgia and the Mother of Poisons
  • The Uncrowned Queen (War of the Roses, #3)
  • The Huntress (The Dark Queen Saga, #4)
  • Harlot Queen
  • The Queen and the Courtesan
  • The King's Touch
Eleanor Alice Burford, Mrs. George Percival Hibbert was a British author of about 200 historical novels, most of them under the pen name Jean Plaidy which had sold 14 million copies by the time of her death. She chose to use various names because of the differences in subject matter between her books; the best-known, apart from Plaidy, are Victoria Holt (56 million) and Philippa Carr (3 million). ...more
More about Jean Plaidy...

Other Books in the Series

Catherine de Medici (3 books)
  • Madame Serpent (Catherine de Medici, #1)
  • Queen Jezebel (Catherine de Medici, #3)
The Lady in the Tower (Queens of England, #4) Murder Most Royal (Tudor Saga, #5) Katharine of Aragon: The Wives of Henry VIII (Tudor Saga, #2-4) The Rose Without a Thorn (Queens of England, #11) To Hold the Crown (Tudor Saga #1)

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