The Tigress of Forlì
Renaissance Italy's Most Courageous and Notorious Countess, Caterina Riario Sforza De' MedicieBook - 2011
A strategist to match Machiavelli; a warrior who stood toe to toe with the Borgias; a wife whose three marriages would end in bloodshed and heartbreak; and a mother determined to maintain her family’s honor, Caterina Riario Sforza de’ Medici was a true Renaissance celebrity, beloved and vilified in equal measure. In this dazzling biography, Elizabeth Lev illuminates her extraordinary life and accomplishments.
Raised in the court of Milan and wed at age ten to the pope’s corrupt nephew, Caterina was ensnared in Italy’s political intrigues early in life. After turbulent years in Rome’s papal court, she moved to the Romagnol province of Forlì. Following her husband’s assassination, she ruled Italy’s crossroads with iron will, martial strength, political savvy, and an icon’s fashion sense. In finally losing her lands to the Borgia family, she put up a resistance that inspired all of Europe and set the stage for her progeny—including Cosimo de’ Medici—to follow her example to greatness.
A rich evocation of Renaissance life, The Tigress of Forlì reveals Caterina Riario Sforza as a brilliant and fearless ruler, and a tragic but unbowed figure.
“A rich, nuanced portrait of a highly controversial beauty and military leader, and her violent, albeit glittering, Italian Renaissance milieu.”—Publishers Weekly
“Well-written and meticulously researched, The Tigress of Forlì recreates the world of Renaissance Italy in all its grandeur and violence. At the center stands a remarkable woman, Caterina Riario Sforza. Mother, warrior, and icon, Caterina is unforgettable, and so is the exciting story that Elizabeth Lev tells here.”—Barry Strauss, author of Masters of Command: Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, and the Genius of Leadership
A Rome-based American historian tells the extraordinary story of Caterina Sforza, perhaps the most prominent woman of Renaissance Italy, who was a wife, a mother, a leader, and a warrior with the courage to battle a Borgia pope, the charm to beguile a Medici husband, and the fierceness to make Machiavelli himself wince.
Baker & Taylor
A revisionist examination of the vilified Renaissance Italy countess explores her marriage at the age of 10 into a corrupt pope's influential family, her fierce rule after the assassination of her husband and the inspiring resistance she led against the Borgia family. A first book. 20,000 first printing.