Blood, Fire and Gold

Blood, Fire and Gold

The story of Elizabeth I and Catherine de Medici

Summary

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In sixteenth-century Europe, two women came to hold all the power, against all the odds. They were Elizabeth I and Catherine de Medici.


One a Virgin Queen who ruled her kingdom alone, and the other a clandestine leader who used her children to shape the dynasties of Europe, much has been written about these iconic women. But nothing has been said of their complicated relationship: thirty years of friendship, competition and conflict that changed the face of Europe.

This is a story of two remarkable visionaries: a story of blood, fire and gold. It is also a tale of ceaseless calculation, of love and rivalry, of war and wisdom - and of female power in a male world. Shining new light on their legendary kingdoms Blood, Fire and Gold provides a new way of looking at two of history's most powerful women, and how they shaped each other as profoundly as they shaped the course of history. Drawing on their letters and brand new research, Estelle Paranque writes an entirely new chapter in the well-worn story of the sixteenth century.

'A stunning portrayal of two of the most powerful women in European history' Tracy Borman

'Exciting and compelling, packed full of tantalising details of diplomacy and court life, Paranque succeeds both in bringing history to life, but also in putting flesh on the bones of these two extraordinary women and rival queens' Kate Mosse

'Bursting with fresh perspectives, this is a vibrant retelling of a story you thought you knew' Dan Snow

© Estelle Paranque 2022 (P) Penguin Audio 2022

Reviews

  • Exciting and compelling, packed full of tantalising details of diplomacy and court life, Paranque succeeds both in bringing history to life, but also in putting flesh on the bones of these two extraordinary women and rival queens.
    Kate Mosse

About the author

Estelle Paranque

Estelle Paranque is an Assistant Professor in History at NCH at Northeastern (London campus). She has participated in several international historical documentaries on TV, including BBC Two's The Boleyns: A Scandalous Family (aired in August 2021), where she shared her knowledge of Anglo-French relations under Henry VIII's reign. She has also participated in Secrets d'Histoire (France 2/ France 3) as well as the history podcasts, HistoryHit, Not Just the Tudors, and Talking Tudors. She has extensively published on the Tudors and the Valois and is the author of Elizabeth I of England Through Valois Eyes (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).
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