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Catherine de Médicis and others. Portraits of the Queen Mother. Polemics, Panegyrics, Letters

Leah L. Chang, Katherine Kong

Catherine de Médicis and others, Portraits of the Queen Mother : Polemics, Panegyrics, Letters, Translation and Study by Leah L. Chang and Katherine Kong, Toronto, The Other Voice Series, Center for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2014, ISBN 978-0-7727-2172-3, 283 p., $31.95.

Catherine de Médicis was portrayed in her day as foreign usurper, loving queen and queen mother, patron of the arts, and Machiavellian murderer of Protestants. Leah L. Chang and Katherine Kong assemble a diverse array of scathing polemic and lofty praise, diplomatic reports, and Catherine’s own letters, which together show how one extraordinary woman’s rule intersected with early modern conceptions of gender, maternity, and power.

"Bringing together differing, even conflicting, writings about Catherine de Médicis in her century is a very timely project. It will allow students and faculty alike to appreciate how posterity’s view of a historical person emerges and evolves, and how it is constructed by sympathetic or hostile reporters. The editors not only present Catherine and the Wars of Religion in their historical context, but also examine the fascinating problem of her afterlife in popular literature as well as serious scholarship." — Mary B. McKinley, Emerita, Douglas Huntly Gordon Professor of French, University of Virginia.

A summary and excerpt from the introduction is available on the CRRS website :