Catherine de Medici: Saint or Sinner?

Previewing his forthcoming biography, Robert Knecht argues that recent whitewash has failed to cover guilty blood.

Few historical reputations have fluctuated as wildly as that of Catherine de Medici, queen of France from 1547 until 1559, and several times regent before her death 1589 No historian would question the importance of her role in the civil wars, generally known as the Wars of Religion, which tore France apart in the second half of the sixteenth century There is, however, a sharp difference of opinion as to her policies: did she consistently strive to bring peace to the kingdom by healing its religious divisions or did she inflame the situation by playing one side against the other and using violent means to get rid of political opponents?

Historical reputation

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