Author Topic: Catherine de Medicis  (Read 50262 times)

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Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #150 on: September 07, 2005, 02:31:36 PM »
Diane "the expert", only had one daughter with Henri didn't she?

This daughter was also called Diane and lived 1538-1619, the Duchess of Montmorency. She survived all of Catharine's children though!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bell_the_cat »
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #151 on: September 07, 2005, 02:39:54 PM »
Sorry folks my post duplicated so I removed one of 'em.My "I book" has just gone t!ts up so I am on the boys 'one ( and their room is none too fragrant, )thank goodness this isn't a "scratch n sniff " site ;)
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Offline Arianwen

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #152 on: September 07, 2005, 03:44:55 PM »
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Diane "the expert", only had one daughter with Henri didn't she?

This daughter was also called Diane and lived 1538-1619, the Duchess of Montmorency. She survived all of Catharine's children though!


Actually, Diane just raised the daughter, her namesake. The mother was an Italian Henri II had dallied with while away from her, and Diane agreed to take her in along with her two daughters from her first marriage. Considering those two daughters were with a man in his sixties or seventies, I get the feeling Diane's fertility wasn't long-lived, or they were taking precautions.

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Arianwen

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #153 on: September 07, 2005, 04:04:27 PM »
Thanks Ari, I thought that Diane had two daughters by her first husband but I got called away and didn't have chance to double check before I posted.
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Offline umigon

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #154 on: September 07, 2005, 04:16:37 PM »
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Actually, Diane just raised the daughter, her namesake. The mother was an Italian Henri II had dallied with while away from her, and Diane agreed to take her in along with her two daughters from her first marriage. Considering those two daughters were with a man in his sixties or seventies, I get the feeling Diane's fertility wasn't long-lived, or they were taking precautions.

Regards,
Arianwen


Yes, Diane (1538-1619) was the daughter of Filippa Duco. She was taken from her mother's arms and given to Diane de Poitiers, whose youngest daughter was 20 in 1538. About Diane de Poitier's fertility, well, she had two girl very quickly after marrying Louis de Brézé and then she had no more. Possibly her husband became infertile and she, after so much time without being pregnant, became prematurely sterile. I think I read somewhere that is possible!
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Offline Arianwen

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #155 on: September 07, 2005, 05:39:04 PM »
All right, because Arianwen can't keep her mouth shut on this one, and I qualify under the moderators' rules, I'm posting regarding the massacre.

I'm Catholic. Born, raised, continue to be, with a vast, Anglican family and one small, Catholic family. If you want to hear my religious views, visit the 'Tudor Queens' thread. I'm not a particularly good Catholic, but to me, while I'm not ashamed of my faith, it's a private, personal thing. No two members of ANY religion have the same beliefs on every point, so allow for that when judging my opinion, for it IS just that, an opinion, formed by education, reading the primary sources in the original languages, and lots of personal letters. For the massacre, I had one Huguenot branch of my family, roughly thirty people, wiped out, and another branch of my ancestors are the de Guise family, so if you try to tell me I'm biased, don't forget to tell me which way I'm leaning.

That being said, my being Catholic doesn't change the fact that the massacre was, in my mind, mass murder and inexcusable. I agree that the 70,000 number is most accurate, and the Catholic me agrees with it, but I'd like to point out one very important thing: the Paris numbers, the ones the royal command was directly responsible for, were between 3,000 and 10,000. Toulouse, Dijon, and the other cities accounted for the vast majority of the deaths, and why did those happen? Because Catholics used the excuse of Paris to take out the Protestants, because they heard the rumours of what had happened, and followed suit. So let's play the blame game, shall we?

Catherine wanted Coligny out of the way, whether he was plotting against her family or not. If Starkey published that, I tend to believe it, but it's still news to me. Catherine worked with de Guise to assassinate Coligny, because Coligny was the leader of the Protestants who killed de Guise's father and because Coligny was upsetting the balance between Catholics and Protestants that Catherine had spent THIRTEEN YEARS trying to uphold. De Guise swore revenge on Coligny for the murder, and probably the rest of the Protestants. As for Catherine...to me, self-defense or defense of loved ones is the ONLY excuse for taking life, and in my own defense, I probably couldn't. That's me, though, and I didn't live Catherine's life. She didn't want all Protestants dead, or even many. She wanted ONE.

As for the Guise family, they were the vicious Catholic faction, and I say that being descended from them. When Coligny didn't die, Catherine, de Guise, and the future Henri III knew the job had to be finished, and either eleven or thirteen leaders were decided upon. Catherine refused to allow certain leaders to be taken out because of royal blood, and quite frankly, because she was scared. So Catherine and the others finally get Charles IX to agree to murder Coligny and the others. Charles then says to kill them all. De Guise and Henri, well-satisfied, then leave and start gathering Catholics. At that point, what could Catherine have done? Gone after her son and de Guise? The king had given orders, the word had spread among the militant Catholics, and Catherine really had no choice. She could stand by her son, or she could alienate both factions and put her entire family in danger. What would YOU all have done?

So Charles IX gave the command to kill them all, and the chief among the bands of Catholic murderers was the Duc de Guise. Let's put blame where it's due. Want to guess how many innocent people de Guise killed, or how many died because Charles IX couldn't bear for anyone to accuse him of betraying Coligny? Also, when the killing was SPECIFICALLY planned for Paris, how logical is it to hold Catherine responsible for what other cities did upon hearing the news? They were obviously looking for an excuse to kill off their Huguenots, and they did it. Everywhere but Paris accounted for most of the death toll, so is Catherine really responsible? Is Charles IX? Is the Duc de Guise? Is Henri III? I put the most blame on the Catholics who did the actual killing, in Paris and elsewhere, on Charles IX for the order he gave to 'kill them all', the Duc de Guise for leading the patrols and killing many Huguenots himself, and Henri III for doing much the same. Catherine wanted one man dead, for right or for wrong.

My other question is this: Michael, you say Catherine's preferred method was poisoning someone. Yes, the Italians did prefer poison, and poison was ALWAYS suspected when someone young and noble died, but what instances are you referring to? Victims, methods, etc? When Jeanne d'Albret, mother of Henri IV of Navarre, died suddenly before the wedding of Henri and Margot, it was said Catherine had poisoned Jeanne by means of perfumed gloves. Physiologically, my husband (a medical student who works in an ER and studied biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins) says this is all but impossible. Any chemical that would have poisoned Jeanne from smell alone would have been easily detected, and people knew that arsenic smelled like almonds, but also had to be ingested. Also, Catherine was cleared of her brother-in-law's death by her father-in-law and the rest of court. Therefore, where are your poison examples?

What I'm trying to say is that Catherine was far from a saint, but I think her biggest sin was loving her children too much, and loving power almost as much. She ruled through them, yes, but look at how some of them, Margot and Henri III in particular, ended up betraying her, and she forgave them time and again. That's what parents DO. She had to wait ten years to have children, and when she finally did, they were all but taken away from her, but still that precious to her.

When judging the actions of another, you have to be able to put yourself in their time, place, morals, upbringing, etc. This, in the 21st century, is almost impossible to do. I once heard history defined (brilliantly) as 'an interpretation of the past for the present'. There is revisionism because new documents are always being found, society and governments are changing, and perhaps, we come to understand historical figures in a new light. For example, we know now that Stonewall Jackson died not of losing his arm, but of pneumonia he had before the battle ever began. We know now that Jeanne d'Arc existed and about her life and death, something we had forgotten a century ago. History keeps changing because we keep learning more about it. How is that a bad thing?

Regards,
Arianwen

Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #156 on: September 08, 2005, 01:23:07 AM »
Hi Arianwen, and thanks for the info about Diane's daughter  - I didn't know that !

Your post on the massacre was very balanced. I think I agree with almost all of it. I'm inclined to believe she loved power a tiny bit more than she loved her children (and a lot more than she loved any innocent people who happened to get in the way), but maybe that's just me. She certainly didn't love all of her children equally!

I've never understood how Charles always gets let of the hook on this one. He was a grown man, married with a daughter. He usually is regarded as not guilty on grounds of "diminished responsibility"!

Does anyone know where we get the account of the infamous meeting during which it was decided to take out the protestant leadership, and effectively extend the murder of one man to an unlimited licence to kill any protestant ("Kill them all")?

Present were the King, his mother, his brother Anjou, and the Duc de Guise.

How do we know what happened at this meeting? Is it from Margot's memoirs or do other accounts survive (perhaps minutes)?

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bell_the_cat »
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Offline Silja

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #157 on: September 08, 2005, 03:24:45 PM »
Thanks Arianwen for this enlightening contribution!

Offline umigon

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #158 on: September 09, 2005, 04:29:05 AM »


Thanks for your contribution Arianwen! I agree with you, that's more or less what I have been trying to say all this time, she was no saint, but she wasn't either evil!


Bell, I have that scene written somewhere, I'll try to find it and i'll post it, ok?
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Offline Arianwen

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #159 on: September 09, 2005, 11:53:17 AM »
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Hi Arianwen, and thanks for the info about Diane's daughter  - I didn't know that !


This is what I'm here for, happy to help. ;D

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Your post on the massacre was very balanced. I think I agree with almost all of it. I'm inclined to believe she loved power a tiny bit more than she loved her children (and a lot more than she loved any innocent people who happened to get in the way), but maybe that's just me. She certainly didn't love all of her children equally!


They say no mother does. I only have my daughter for now, so I can't tell you, but I thought for years my younger brother was the favourite, only to find that if my parents were FORCED to choose, I'd be the favoured child. That knocked about a decade off my life...;)

Here's food for thought, though...you have the choice between saving your family and saving a group of innocent people. Your family, you love more than life itself. Could you honestly send them to their deaths instead of people you didn't and would never know? I know what I'd do (tell the person asking that choice to kill me instead of ANYONE else), but what wouldn't we do for the people we love? It's a bloody hard decision, either way...

Thanks for everyone's kind comments on my post, though! I'm glad I could be of some sort of assistance. :)

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I've never understood how Charles always gets let of the hook on this one. He was a grown man, married with a daughter. He usually is regarded as not guilty on grounds of "diminished responsibility"!


I don't get that, either. Catherine might have ruled through him, but Charles still had a mind of his own, and tried to defy her when he could. He WAS a grown man, he made the decision, and I consider him more guilty than his mother.

Quote
Does anyone know where we get the account of the infamous meeting during which it was decided to take out the protestant leadership, and effectively extend the murder of one man to an unlimited licence to kill any protestant ("Kill them all")?

Present were the King, his mother, his brother Anjou, and the Duc de Guise.

How do we know what happened at this meeting? Is it from Margot's memoirs or do other accounts survive (perhaps minutes)?


I can't imagine minutes existing. Who would have written them? I believe we know what happened because of Margot's memoirs (she would have been told by her brothers, if not her mother, and I seem to remember hearing that she heard from her sister, Claude, and Catherine tried to quiet Claude, but Margot then figured out what was going on), and people who were told of the King's command by de Guise and Henri III. My French history sources are in a folder buried in a box, unfortunately (that's where the original Jeanne d'Arc trial transcript is), and I'm trying like mad to find it today, so I'm doing this off the top of my head. My apologies if I'm mucking it up. lol

Regards,
Arianwen

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #160 on: September 09, 2005, 12:03:41 PM »
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Thanks for everyone's kind comments on my post, though! I'm glad I could be of some sort of assistance. :)



You're always helpful to us, Arianwen.  ;D Thanks for your contributions.
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
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"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Offline Arianwen

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #161 on: September 09, 2005, 12:06:56 PM »
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You're always helpful to us, Arianwen.  ;D Thanks for your contributions.


*curtsies gracefully* Like I said, happy to help where I can. It just occurred to me that most of my sources are in the original French (I don't do with translations when I can avoid it), so I'll have to translate those, too. lol Poor Jon, his wife's going to be speaking nothing but French for a solid twelve hours...;) The man doesn't speak a word of it, either, so he's REALLY in trouble. lol

Regards,
Arianwen

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #162 on: September 09, 2005, 12:44:42 PM »
<shocked> Your hubby doesn't speak the language of love??  ???
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Offline Arianwen

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #163 on: September 09, 2005, 12:47:57 PM »
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<shocked> Your hubby doesn't speak the language of love??  ???


lol The best answer to that you're getting is that he took Spanish, not French, and can write, understand, and read Spanish, but can't speak it anymore. I say he's just rusty. As for the language of love...;)

Regards,
Arianwen

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #164 on: September 09, 2005, 12:51:50 PM »
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As for the language of love...;)


<all innocence> what does that mean?  ::)

;D ;D ;D ;D

Seriously though, we had better get back to the topic at hand.
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."