StoryGraph Saturday is a weekly thing where I randomly choose a book from my To Read pile on StoryGraph and show it off to both remind myself that it’s there and to show it to you in case you might find it interesting, too.
The Tigress of Forlì: Renaissance Italy’s Most Courageous and Notorious Countess, Caterina Riario Sforza de Medici
by Elizabeth Lev
From The StoryGraph:
The astonishing life of a long-misunderstood Renaissance virago.
Wife, mother, leader, warrior. Caterina Riario Sforza was one of the most prominent women in Renaissance Italy—and one of the most vilified. In this glittering biography, Elizabeth Lev reexamines 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 an 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 the Renaissance, The Tigress of Forlì reveals Caterina Riario Sforza as a brilliant and fearless ruler and a tragic but unbowed figure.
I first heard about Caterina Sforza during one of my Italian Renaissance art history classes, and since then I have wanted to know more about her. I knew this book had come out some time ago but had forgotten about it. I recently found it on sale and picked up a copy, as my local library doesn’t have it. I’m hoping to get through several biographies of notable European women of the Medieval and Early Modern periods in the next few months, and The Tigress of Forli will be among those books.