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Head of Zeus
Tigress of Forli
12 Dec 2019 * PAPERBACK * £9.99 * 9781789546354

The fascinating portrait of the ultimate Renaissance woman: Caterina Sforza, the Tigress of Forli.

Non Fiction / BGH (Biography)
Extent: 432 pages  Format: 198 x 129 mm Illus: 1 x 8pp colour
Exclusive: GB AU NZ IN ZA SG   Not for sale: CA US
Tigress Of Forli
Also by Elizabeth Lev
Tigress of Forli: The Life of Caterina SforzaElizabeth Lev

Between her birth in 1463 as the illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Milan, to her death in 1509 as a member of the powerful Medici family, Caterina Sforza's life crossed the firmament of Italy's High Renaissance like a shooting star.

In her 46 years she bore eight children and buried three husbands. She was painted by Botticelli, slandered by Machiavelli, and feted by Pope Sixtus IV. She was celebrated as a warrior who fearlessly led her own troops into battle, and ruthlessly defended her city-state of Forli, but Caterina was eventually defeated, imprisoned and raped by Cesare Borgia.

Remembered as the author of a recipe book that went through more than 100 editions, Caterina was honoured at her death as 'without a doubt the first lady of Italy'. Her youngest son would become – like her – a brilliant soldier and a national hero, and the next four generations of her descendants would include two Dukes of Tuscany, a queen of France, and a queen of England.

Elizabeth Lev is an art historian living in Rome, where she teaches Baroque and Renaissance Art.

An excellent biography of an often-forgotten figure in Renaissance Italy.

A life of high drama, set against the intrigues and plots of Renaissance Italian politics.

Demonstrates influence of a female ruler in an era dominated by men.

MARKET: Helen Castor; Antonia Fraser; Sarah Bradford; Nancy Goldstone.


'Tigress of Forli is a triumph', Spectator

'Warring kingdoms [...] corrupt popes and hapless husbands and lovers ... As action-packed as Game of Thrones', New York Times

'A swirling vortex of alliances, grudges and revenge', New York Journal of Books

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