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European Royalty Group Reads > Murder of a Medici Princess: Overall (Potential Spoilers!)

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message 1: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments Feel free to discuss anything about the book in this thread. If you (and others) are here, you (and they) have finished the book, so don't worry about posting spoilers. If you haven't finished the book, you may not want to read anything here yet!

message 2: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Moody | 544 comments I can't find any book club questions for this one! Strange, because apparently the author held a book club discussion that was open to the public at Bryant Park in Manhattan just a week ago (August 18). Sounds like a really cool event - but I'm not finding any discussion topics or book club questions from it.

BTW - if you google "Murder of a Medici Princess book club questions" the first two results are our group :)

message 3: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments Hee, that's too funny (of course, I just googled it myself)! It never occurred to me that goodreads stuff would pop up in a google search (although I suppose I have no logical reason as to why it wouldn't).

I really enjoyed this book. I definitely want to read a lot more about the great Italian families after reading this. All the murders and contract killings! No wonder the English were fascinated with Italy at that time (although I suppose there were plenty of untimely deaths in England and France during this period - I think I'm just used to someone being thrown in prison and then killed by order of the king as opposed to secret assasins and mysterious poisonings).

The references to Catherine de Medici were also interesting because it helped to give me a reference point that I was familiar with. I'd love to read more about how she fit in with the rest of the Medicis.

As for Isabella, I thought she was fine, but I don't know that I would want to hang out with her if she was alive today like the author seems to want to do. I prefer reading and quiet activities more than partying, and I'm not sure how many big partiers are going to be reading this non-fiction book wishing they could hang out with Isabella. Her death was sad though, especially how it seemed to be planned to occur along with Leonora's murder.

message 4: by Melhoned (new)

Melhoned | 7 comments I felt sad for a day or so after I finished reading this book; I felt sad for Isabella, but I also felt sad that maybe the only reason I felt bad for her is because she died. Overall, she had everything; love (Troilo), money, family, freedom (until Cosimo died), intelligence, access to whatever she wanted... I read a review on the book in which the reviewer stated that Comsimo's affection protected her from the harsher elements of life, and she never had to develope a survival instinct such as Elizabeth I, or ambition such as Anne Boleyn. It's an intriguing thought.
What would Isabella have become were she not so sheltered?

message 5: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments Melanie wrote: "I felt sad for a day or so after I finished reading this book; I felt sad for Isabella, but I also felt sad that maybe the only reason I felt bad for her is because she died. Overall, she had every..."

I think the author made a similar statement comparing Isabella to that Bianca mistress of Francesco (how Bianca had to scheme to get what she wanted and Isabella never had a reason to since everything was kind of handed to her).

message 6: by Melhoned (new)

Melhoned | 7 comments I think it was difficult for me to see Isabella's humanity, and that's why I felt so conflicted about her. I'm sure some of that is due to the difference in mindset between my twenty-first century brain and her sixteenth(?... It's been a few weeks since i finished the book)-century perspective. I'm not to bothered by her hunting as I believe they ate what they killed. But I'm not bothered by modern hunting provided none of the animal is wasted.
I agree that she is fascinating. Weeks since finishing the book I still think about her. In a way I envy her. What a brilliant existence!
Interesting side note: She is said to have haunted Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' wedding. Not likely, as it was held at her husband's Roman property, but interesting bit of trivia.

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