Biographies & Memoirs

The Tigress of Forli: Renaissance Italy's Most Courageous and Notorious Countess, Caterina Riario Sforza de' Medici

The Tigress of Forli: Renaissance Italy's Most Courageous and Notorious Countess, Caterina Riario Sforza de' Medici

“In this insightful, fascinating portrayal, Elizabeth Lev brings Caterina Sforza and her times very much to life.”—Kathleen Turner, actress and author of Send Yourself Roses

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.

Author's Note

Prologue: Christmas Cannons

Chapter 1. THE EDUCATION OF AN AMAZON

Chapter 2. CHILDHOOD'S END

Chapter 3. THE COUNTESS-IN-WAITING

Chapter 4. THE TRIUMPHAL PARADE TO ROME

Chapter 5. COURTIERS AND CONSPIRACIES

Chapter 6. THE GROWTH OF THE RIARIO DYNASTY

Chapter 7. THE FAIREST IN THE REALM

Chapter 8. THE BIRTH OF ATHENA

Chapter 9. THE LEAN YEARS

Chapter 10. TAKING CENTER STAGE

Chapter 11. THE RETORT AT RAVALDINO

Chapter 12. THE SPOILS OF WAR

Chapter 13. FANNING THE FLAMES

Chapter 14. BLINDED BY LOVE

Chapter 15. AVENGING FURY

Chapter 16. INTRIGUE AND INVASION

Chapter 17. ITALY'S IDOL

Chapter 18. THE LONG NIGHT OF CASTEL SANT'ANGELO

Chapter 19. SLEEP AFTER TOIL

Epilogue: Mantua, 1526

Notes

Sources

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