I first learned of Marguerite de Valois (Princess Margot) upon watching the 1994 French film, La Reine Margot. The subject matter and her character faI first learned of Marguerite de Valois (Princess Margot) upon watching the 1994 French film, La Reine Margot. The subject matter and her character fascinated me and ever since I've been intrigued to learn more about her. When I was given the opportunity to read and review Medicis Daughter, I couldn't wait to say yes.
Perinot is a talented historical author. She takes characters already known to us and makes them even more real. Princess Margot's mother, Catherine de Medici, a woman both maligned and admired in history, quite lives up to her reputation of Madame la Serpente in this depiction. I have heard arguments on both sides regarding her true nature, but the fact remains that she would have had to have been a formidable woman to navigate the treacherous times she lived in. That she pretty much used her daughters as pawns while worshiping her sons, namely Henri, was the difficult part of this book. How women of royalty could stand to live the way they were forced to live is beyond my comprehension. I guess my 21st century self can't wrap my head around having no choices in your own life. This being said, Margot really learned to hold her own. Perinot has depicted Margo as a strong and resilient woman who weathered the storm and finally came into her own when she showed her mother she had no control over her any longer. It was a triumphant moment and I cheered at the end.
There are so many remarkable women in the history of the world and I know I can always count on Sophie Perinot to tell a compelling story while staying true to historical detail. I can't wait to read what she publishes next. If you haven't read this one, you really simply must! ...more
The most I had ever heard of the Mailly-Nesle sisters was a passing reference in some history book I read in the past. I guess I didn't quite fathom aThe most I had ever heard of the Mailly-Nesle sisters was a passing reference in some history book I read in the past. I guess I didn't quite fathom at the time that these sisters, indeed four of the five of them, were all mistresses to the king of France, Louis XV. Interesting family dynamic, to say the least! And people think Marie Antoinette was scandalous.
The author has really outdone herself with this her debut novel. I was quite impressed by how she gave each sister a distinct voice. I especially enjoyed the epistolary aspect of the novel (as I always do). I find that letters written to and from individuals gives such insight into the characters.
Upon doing a bit of research, it is interesting to note that Madame de Pompadour became the official royal mistress to Louis XV in March 1745, just months after Marie-Anne's death. Makes me wonder, if Marie-Anne would have lived, would Madame Pompadour have ever been the king's mistress? Interesting to speculate on this (if the dates are correct).
It was definitely an interesting dynamic between the sisters, as at times, they were the king's mistresses at the same time, meaning if one was sick, the other would fill in. I find it a bit disturbing actually, but such were the morals of the French court.
On a final note, it must be said. This is an outstanding debut novel. Judging by the historical accuracy and engaging storytelling, Christie is sure to be a major success in the historical fiction genre....more