Author Topic: Mary Stuart and Catherine of Medici  (Read 14477 times)

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fiatlux

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Re: Mary Stuart and Catherine of Medici
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2005, 02:07:19 PM »
A little bit back on topic, with reference to Mary Stuart's relationship with Catherine - Alison Weir's excellent Mary, Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley has quite a bit. Mary fell in with Diane de Poitiers, which didn't endear her to her mother-in-law.

Catherine's reaction to Darnley's murder and the subsequent marriage to Bothwell - she more or less disowned Mary - is interesting in light of her supposedly evil reputation. I'm afraid I'm one of those who consider Catherine as more sinned against than sinning and one really needs to judge her by the mores of the day, she did what she thought needed to be done in order that her sons - who frankly, were pretty feeble - and France (ditto)  survived.

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Catherine's family was evil. Consider the deeds done by her brothers while they were popes.


But at least they gave us Florence and the Renaissance ;) Catherine didn't have any brothers, BTW, there was supposedly a half-brother Alessandro, it was allowed to be known that he was Catherine's father's illegitimate son - but it is much more likely he was Cardinal Guilio de Medici's off-spring.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by fiatlux »

umigon

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Re: Mary Stuart and Catherine of Medici
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2005, 07:37:05 AM »


Catherine and Mary didn't have a bad relationship. They were not friends and Catherine didn't play the role of adoptive mother that would be expected in their situation. But they never argued and they played cards together. It can be said that their love for Francis made them be closer than they had been in Mary's early years in France.

From letters that Catherine wrote it is known that, although she considered Mary a, politically speaking, dead person, she urged her son Henry III to free her from the unfair and cruel imprisonment in which Elizabeth Tudor maintained her during nearly 20 years.

Catherine was probably not an evil person, she was just practical. A cruel person would have killed Diane de Poitiers the day after Henry II's death. Instead, and although she confiscated the lands, castles and jewels given to her by Henry, Diane continued to receive an economic pension (although reduced) from the Crown of France. Catherine would even search good marriages for Diane's grandchildren. She attempted in many cases to unify Catholics and Huguenots and, when she failed, she was determined to eliminate them. The massacres and terrific things that took place during the days following Saint Bartholomew's Night were not her fault, even though the first deaths were ordered by Catherine, at least Coligny's death and some other noble protestants, mainly belonging to Navarre's Court.

lexi4

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Re: Mary Stuart and Catherine of Medici
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2005, 06:10:51 PM »
Her uncle was Pope Clement VII, wasn't he the pope who refused to give Henry VII an annulment of his marriage to Catherine?

fiatlux

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Re: Mary Stuart and Catherine of Medici
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2005, 03:56:17 AM »
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Her uncle was Pope Clement VII, wasn't he the pope who refused to give Henry VII an annulment of his marriage to Catherine?


Clement was Catherine's great-uncle (he was the natural son of Giulio di Giuliano, Lorenzo the Magnificent's brother). I'm sure it was a slip, but it was Henry VIII's divorce that brought him into play - somewhat caught between a rock and and a hard place during the divorce.

ilyala

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Re: Mary Stuart and Catherine of Medici
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2005, 08:19:14 AM »
he only refused because he was held captive by catherine's cousin, emperror charles :)

lexi4

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Re: Mary Stuart and Catherine of Medici
« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2005, 10:47:04 AM »
Quote
A little bit back on topic, with reference to Mary Stuart's relationship with Catherine - Alison Weir's excellent Mary, Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley has quite a bit. Mary fell in with Diane de Poitiers, which didn't endear her to her mother-in-law.

Catherine's reaction to Darnley's murder and the subsequent marriage to Bothwell - she more or less disowned Mary - is interesting in light of her supposedly evil reputation. I'm afraid I'm one of those who consider Catherine as more sinned against than sinning and one really needs to judge her by the mores of the day, she did what she thought needed to be done in order that her sons - who frankly, were pretty feeble - and France (ditto)  survived.


But at least they gave us Florence and the Renaissance ;) Catherine didn't have any brothers, BTW, there was supposedly a half-brother Alessandro, it was allowed to be known that he was Catherine's father's illegitimate son - but it is much more likely he was Cardinal Guilio de Medici's off-spring.


Of course you are right about the brother...it was her uncle

lexi4

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Re: Mary Stuart and Catherine of Medici
« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2005, 10:55:55 AM »
Here is what I found on the relationship between Catherine and Clement.

Her uncle was Pope Clement VII (the pope who refused to grant Henry VIII a divorce from his first wife Catherine of Aragon). Although Clement VIII always addressed Catherine as his niece, he was in fact a first cousin of her grandfather.

Offline Romanov_fan

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Re: Mary Stuart and Catherine of Medici
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2007, 01:33:05 PM »
That biography of Catherine ( the Frieda one) does try to portray her as a misunderstood person. She has been stereotyped for sure, by many sources. She was undoubtedly very political, very interested in politics. Yet for all that, her understanding of politics in France in that era wasn't the best. She seemed to think of politics in Medici terms, which worked in Florence, but not France. She wasn't a bad person, just in the wrong country, as the bad consequences of her meddling with politics shows. She should have stayed in Italy.

Mary Stuart was not at all political, but because of her position, she ended up dealing with politics. She didn't do a good job of it, although in Scotland as in France, these things were very complicated.Catherine and Mary were both raked over the coals because of politics often involving religion, although one chose that, and the other did not. Whatever the case, they both made messes of it. That's an interesting link between the two women. Another interesting link was that both were made to look bad later on in history, because of things that made them controversial. For Catherine, these were things like the Massacre of St Bartholomew, and her ambition for her sons, and France's religious problems. For Mary, there were things like the murder of Darnley, and her marriage to Bothwell, that led to to her leaving Scotland.

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Mary Stuart and Catherine of Medici
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2007, 03:25:45 PM »
Have you read Leonie Frieda's book Imperial Angel? I'd love to know what you thought of it, I absolutely loved it.
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Offline Romanov_fan

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Re: Mary Stuart and Catherine of Medici
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2007, 03:53:39 PM »
Yes, I have read it. I liked it as well. I think it shows the real woman behind the stereotypes that so often surrounded her. I think the aim of the book was to bring out the fact that Catherine wasn't completely how she has been portrayed. She was a victim of her image more than she deserved. I think that book shows how Catherine did try to have good intentions when dealing with religious problems, and it makes Catherine seem more human, because she wasn't important during her husband's reign, except for kids for the dynasty. She was childless in her first years at the French court and perceived not very well, because she was no great beauty. She was quite intelligent, and just waiting for her moment. I thought of the stereotypes of her were largely true before I read that book, but after I begun to see she had good intentions at times, she just made mistakes. As I stated in my post above, she was interested in politics, but maybe not as political as she thought. She wasn't a bad person, just the victim of what she seemed to be, dull, of rather low blood compared to French royalty, and plain. But, underneath there was great intelligence and ambition.

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Mary Stuart and Catherine of Medici
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2007, 04:11:22 PM »
Thanks for that Imp. ;)  I think though that she was more than QUITE intelligent ;D
I am glad that you enjoyed the bio.
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Offline Romanov_fan

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Re: Mary Stuart and Catherine of Medici
« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2007, 08:26:13 AM »
I think in some ways it was that very intelligence that made her get the reputation she had. Mary, Queen of Scots on the other hand, wasn't stupid, but she did not have half as much intelligence. In Mary's case, it was her beauty that ruined her reputation in a way.

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Re: Mary Stuart and Catherine of Medici
« Reply #27 on: January 18, 2007, 09:10:50 AM »
On the contrary, Mary was extremely well educated and intelligent. It's common sense that she lacked.
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bell_the_cat

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Re: Mary Stuart and Catherine of Medici
« Reply #28 on: January 18, 2007, 04:18:11 PM »
Also remember that Catherine was over forty and politically unexperienced when she embarked on her (not very skillful) political career. Mary's career was over at 24, so I think she may be excused some errors of judgement. Mary also had the disadvantage (?) of having immense charisma, which perhaps led her to being incautious and overplaying her hand.

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Re: Mary Stuart and Catherine of Medici
« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2007, 09:36:26 AM »
I agree Mary was well educated. She was raised at the court of France, where you were bound to be so. I think she wasn't politically intelligent though, which was what I meant by saying she wasn't that intelligent. But, it is clear to me that Catherine de Medici had rare intelligence, just no political astuteness for France. Mary Stuart was intelligent, indeed, I don't debate that. She wasn't as intellectual as her cousin in England though.