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Madame Serpiente (Catalina de Medici, #1)
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Madame Serpiente (Catherine de Medici #1)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  973 ratings  ·  60 reviews
Ésta es la primera parte de la historia de Catalina de Médici. una mujer sagaz e implacable que alcanzó la fama por su largo historial de crímenes.

Con catorce años, Catalina abandona a su adorado Hipolíto para casarse con Enrique de Orleáns. Su vida junto a un hombre que no la ama y que la engaña con una amante veinte años mayor que él acentuarán el carácter maquiavélico
Paperback, 362 pages
Published September 28th 2006 by Ediciones B (first published January 1st 1952)
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Okay, I know this book isn't exactly serious literature. It's probably not fair to be nitpicky about historical accuracy.

But Italy was not a country in the 1500s. Not politically, not linguistically, and definitely not like this:

"Oh, our poor country, Sebastiano! Our poor suffering country! I know how you feel. You and I would die for our country." (pg. 118)

"Yes, Sebastiano," she said, "for the sake of your country you would gladly die a thousand deaths. . .your name would be remembered through
An historian friend of mine called Catherine de Medici a "formidable woman." Before I read this book, I knew almost nothing about her, but this book certainly doesn't portray her as a "formidable woman." It shows her more as a frail, meek, tormented woman who has been for the most part abandoned by her husband. The title is a total misnomer. It shouldn't be called "Madame Serpent" but rather "Madame puppy" or "Madame mouse." Additionally, the book ends shortly after the point where Mary Stewart ...more
This was my first Plaidy book and I enjoyed it. At first I thought it was dragging along, but once I remembered this was book one of the trilogy, it all made sense. This book re-imagines the events that eventually shaped Catherine de Medici into the woman she would become. Catherine went to France wide eyed and innocent and quickly became disillusioned. Although she loved her new father, Francis I, and his court, she never gained the courts full acceptance. Catherine was on excellent terms with ...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Decent, if not groundbreaking. Occasionally stilted and weighed down with expositionary dialogue, but nonetheless an engaging read and look at the life of one of France's most infamous Queens. Though Madame Serpent was definitely not the best Jean Plaidy novel I have ever read, I can say I enjoyed it - for the most part - and that it was worth the $10 for the ebook.
It's been over two years since I've last read a Jean Plaidy book, which is a little crazy knowing that ever since college I've considered her one of my favorite historical fiction authors. (Just looking at my goodreads stats gives you an idea how much since I've read 17 books by her since 2007 compared to my second most read author at 10.) There's just something about how many historical places and periods she wrote about and how many details she's able to include to I can't help but be excited ...more
The story of King Henry 2 of France- 1547- who was the son of Frances 1st of France- a very strong figure who was a lover of many women. His son, Henry 2 was married to Catherine de Medici from Rome and a member of the Medici family of tradesmen with Lorenzo Medici of Florence- lover of art and very powerful. Henry, as a youth was enamored by a women 20 years older than him, Diane de Poitiers, who after he became king was his lover and controlled everything he did. she was very mean to Henry's w ...more
Cynthia  Scott
This was originally published in 1952 but has just been released in a quality paperback form. Two years ago I embarked on a serious read of historical fiction and non-fiction relating to the rise to power of the Tudor line in England. Catherine de Medici was Queen of France and her story touched on many of the same events. This is the first of a trilogy about her and gives excellent color to her early life in midst the political machinations of Rome and Florence, then to her loveless but prolifi ...more
The title of this book is well-chosen. It refers to Catherina de Medici, who is portrayed as a vile and cunning woman. Death, pain and revenge are on her mind. She's driven by her longing for love, her want for power. Her character scared me, though I could understand how she'd grown to be evil.
The tale begins recounting cruel events that take place during Catherina her youth, continuing with details about her unhappy married life. Catherina is married of to a son of the king of france, who bec
I am a huge fan of all written by Jean Plaidy! She is an incredible author; her attention to detail, her descriptions of the French monarchy and courts give you the feeling of being present in the time and place she is describing. In this first installment of Catherine de Medici, I was drawn to the Italian princess. She is so innocent, so full of dreams and aspirations; hopes and disillusions. You feel so sorry for her. She is sent to France to marry a prince she does not love, torn away from he ...more
Ivana de Bona
At first I loved Diane, she seemed so kind and nice, but the moment she became Henry's mistress my hate for her was born. The king Francois I was amazing, so wise and smart, yet so filled with love and admiration for beauty. He seemed as my kind of a man.

Even though I did have emphaty for the protagonist, Catherine she did some really stupid things I could not pass by. For example, her acted happiness. I understand that she only wanted to fool her enemies, but it didn't bring her any good either
I like Jean Plaidy's novels about the Tudors better. Having just finished Dumas's Queen Margot and encountered his vision of the much older and established Queen Mother, I was curious about Plaidy's more modern portrayal of young Catherine. The beginning of the book, describing her childhood, was just boring. The second half is more engaging. In it, Catherine comes forth as an emotional and vulnerable character. She is also learning some very expensive lessons in politics if not lessons in love. ...more
This book had a terrible start and an annoying plot, making me wish it was over when I first began reading it. I have no intention on finishing the series, and though I won't find out about the revenge taken (view spoiler), I won't consider it much of a loss regardless of my curiosity.

The entire novel was based off Catherine pining for the man who would never love her back, and her love felt forced because I never saw a reason for her to love him. All I was interested in
No dust cover so I don't know which edition this would be. Hard cover anyway.
Interesting biography of Catherine de Medici's years married to Henry, King of France... but she's such an unpleasant person that it's not a very pleasant read. I felt sorry for her and kept wishing something would go her way, but at the same time she's so full of hatred.
Athena Ninlil
A sympathetic and well written account of Catherine de Medici's first years at the French court and her rise to power as queen of France and following her husband's death as the country's most powerful woman.
For a historical fiction lover (not just paying attention to romance), this was an absolute treat. I enjoyed the second one even more and am anxiously waiting to get my hands on Queen Jezebel!
An Odd1
Catherine de'Medici 14 is raised by her uncle, Italy's pope, to hide her emotions, deprived of pet dogs (life changer?!) then first love cousin, ordered to wed Henry of Orléans, second son of France's king. Selfish lust for pretty boy never requited, she stays technically faithful, calls that "love". She is pathetic to blame her nasty nature on others. I dislike her, more over the years. She never matures, not even a convincing villain protagonist, like Heyer's Black Moth https://www.goodreads.c ...more
Sarahbella Foster
I'm a little conflicted with this book... it's not alike other novels that Jean Plaidy has written. for me the historical inaccuracy , the self deprecating image she portrays Catherine de Medici to have , and the extensive monologues, really dissapointed me. However, as always, Plaidy makes here characters truly come a live and at one point in the book I literally had to put it down because my hatred of Diana de Poitiers was so great and frustrating.

Overall , it is a decent read but do not expe
This is my favorite book!
This was my first Plaidy and I enjoyed it. I did find it a little slow, but I think this was more to do with the fact that I only had small blocks of time in which to read it and a novel like this is better read in chunks.

It tells the story of Catherine Medici, who is forced to move from Italy to France to marry the son of King Francis. As if the move to a different country - away from her family - isn't enough, we see her struggle to keep the attention of her husband on her, rather than his mis
Madame Serpent by Jean Plaidy

Genre: Historical Fiction

When I started this book, I really didn’t know anything about Catherine de’ Medici and had only previously read 1 book by Plaidy. I picked up this book thinking that it would have more about Italy in it, seeing as she is a Medici, mistake! It’s about France!

I found myself immediately sucked into the world of Catherine, Alessandro, and Ippolito (her relatives). Not too much time was spent on her life in Italy, which I would have liked to have
In the first book of Plaidy's trilogy of Catherine d'Medici, we meet Catherine as a young girl, the victim of her pope uncle's ambitions to marry a Medici into the French royal family. Catherine isn't received warmly by the French due to her parvenu Italian heritage but charms the king, Francis I and is equally enchanted by his persona. Her intended, Henri, is second in line to the throne and in love with a woman almost twenty years his senior, Diane de Poitiers. Diane's confident and intelligen ...more
I was somewhat disappointed. I always pictured Catherine as a force to be reckoned with yet this Catherine was meek and timid. It was entertaining but dragged on in certain areas. I'm not sure if this book portrayed her accurately or not. I'd like to read more about her because I think she really was a "Madame Serpent" although this novel portrayed her as Madame Mouse.
I loved this book!!!!! It was incredibly interesting with a well-written and engaging protagonist evne if she was verging on psychotic.
Sara W
This is the first book in Jean Plaidy's trilogy about Catherine de Medici. I didn't think this was one of Plaidy's best books. It was written in 1952, so it's one of her earlier books, but I've read other early books by her that I liked a lot more than this one. This book was pretty repetitive once Catherine married Henry of France - she loved him, he loved his mistress, she wanted to kill the mistress but had to bite her tongue and put up with the mistress. This same theme kept repeating itself ...more
Lisa Crosser
I love the way Jean Plaidy tells a story, you get drawn back to that time an it holds you there till the very end! Love her books, this was defiantly 5 stars!!!
Spoiler-ish review:
Wow this book is heart wrenching. I actually felt really depressed while reading this book. It starts out with her as a pre-teen being abused by her noble family. This girl seriously loses everything in life. I was always hoping she would get cut a break somewhere in the book. But things just keep getting worse and worse for her. It shows you how hardships can slowly change a person. It was a slow read with no real plot. Basically this poor woman just wants to be loved. I don'
Rosemary Prawdzik
I was very interested to read a book from the perspective of the ignored queen, consort of Henri II. From most sources Henri was in love and loved Diane de Poitiers with a passion! Jean Plaidy does a good job of representing Catherine's life in the H-D shadow. However I found it hard to grasp why Catherine made the leap to Loving Henri. She may have been jealous, resentful, vindictive, plotting and all the rest but I don't buy that she really loved him.
Another great book about people and situat
Madame Serpent was superb. The only reason why I did not give it a five star was because Plaidy called Henri Henry.
Catherine de Medici goes to France to marry Henri
The only one that is nice to her is the old king Francis I
Catherine makes the mistake to fall passionately in love with her husband but he has only eyes for Diane etde Poitiers who is 20 years older than him.
Even her children are under Diane ' s thumb
It is these circumstances that form Catherine ' s personality later on
Michaela Rhua
Really enjoyed this book. Historical fiction at its best. Catherine is a fascinating character and a product of her breeding. Always having to hide what she really feels and thinks, Catherine's energies are focused on her family.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 12, 2015 10:18AM  
  • Courtesan
  • To Serve a King
  • Harlot Queen
  • The King's Pleasure
  • Reluctant Queen
  • The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
  • The Princess of Nowhere
  • Pale Rose of England
  • The Queen of Last Hopes: The Story of Margaret of Anjou
  • Three Maids for a Crown: A Novel of the Grey Sisters
  • The Devil's Queen: A Novel of Catherine de Medici
  • The Courtesan's Lover
  • The King's Mistress
  • My Enemy, the Queen
  • Duchessina: A Novel of Catherine de' Medici (Young Royals, #5)
  • The Queen's Pawn
  • Brief Gaudy Hour: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
  • The Countess and the King: A Novel of the Countess of Dorchester and King James II
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)
  • The Italian Woman (Catherine de Medici, #2)
  • 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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