Baker & Taylor
A study of a royal love triangle captures the relationships between King Henri II of France, his wife Catherine de Medici, and his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, examining the impact of the love story on the history of Renaissance France.Baker
An intriguing study of a royal love triangle captures the complex relationships that existed between King Henri II of France, his wife Catherine de Medici, and his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, examining the impact of the love story on the history of Renaissance France. 75,000 first printing.Simon and Schuster
Set against the stunning backdrop of Renaissance France and peopled by the titans of European history, The Serpent and the Moon is a true story of love, war, intrigue, betrayal, and persecution. At its heart is one of the world's great love stories: the life-long devotion of King Henri II of France to Diane de Poitiers, a beautiful aristocrat who was nineteen years older than her lover.
Diane was present at Henri's birth. It was Diane who lovingly embraced six-year-old Henri when he was sent as a hostage to a Spanish prison in exchange for his father. On his release four years later, it was Diane who eased the adolescent Henri out of his bitterness. As Henri matured, he modeled his life on the chivalric code, wore Diane's famous colors of black and white, and vowed to protect the lady whose image had sustained him throughout his childhood imprisonment.
In the sixteenth century, scions of royal houses were political pawns to be exchanged in marriage by rulers of Europe seeking to meet their own ambitions. At age fourteen, Henri was married to fourteen-year-old Catherine de' Medici, an unattractive but extremely wealthy heiress who was to bring half of Italy to France as her dowry. When Catherine met Henri on their wedding day, she fell instantly in love, but Henri could see no one but the beautiful Diane de Poitiers. Henri became dauphin and then king, all the while becoming more devoted to Diane, granting her exalted titles, magnificent castles, and the crown jewels and increasing the jealous fury of his wife. Diane and Henri ruled France as one. While their love was sincere and discreet, many at court were not sure of their true relationship. Catherine, however, was in no doubt. She took as her secret motto the words "Hate and Wait" and lived for the day Diane would die and she could win Henri's love and rule by his side. Fate had another plan.
Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent, herself a descendant of both Catherine and Diane, imbues this seldom-told story with an insider's grasp of royal life and exquisite details gleaned from extensive research in the libraries, palaces, and private collections in Europe. Set in a time of unprecedented cultural and religious revolution, constant war, and the building of France's most famous chateaux and the creation of its Renaissance art, The Serpent and the Moon is a fascinating love story as well as a richly woven history of an extraordinary time.