The Tigress of Forli

The Tigress of Forli 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 re examines her e

  • Title: The Tigress of Forli
  • Author: Elizabeth Lev
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 454
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • 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 re examines 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 intrigueWife, 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 re examines 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 Forli 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 Forli reveals Caterina Riario Sforza as a brilliant and fearless ruler, and a tragic but unbowed figure.

    One thought on “The Tigress of Forli”

    1. This book was on my to-read list longer than any other (from April 2014) & it did not disappoint. Lev has a novelist's writing style is like a novelist's & some of the content must be speculative, but everything is carefully footnoted about this beautiful, intelligent & complex woman.Lev's theory that Machiavelli's unflattering portrait of Caterina in The Prince springs from being worsted by Caterina in one of Machiavelli's early diplomatic missions. Lev very ably rebuts some of Mach [...]

    2. The story of Caterina Sforza is a story worth telling, and Elizabeth Lev tells it well.La dama dei gelsomini, by Lorenzo di Credi - presumably of Caterina Sforza ()It is the story of a feisty, formidable woman, a woman who often outwitted her male counterparts. She for example bested and humiliated both Macchiavelli and the fearsome Cesare Borgia on various occasions. She seemed to be quite fearless, was a good strategist and dressed in armour, led in battle. She defended her stronghold against [...]

    3. Highly researched biography of Caterina Riario Sforza de Medici. I wish I would have read this before I read Scarlet City by Haasse. Because I would have understood the Italian city state wars (lasting for literally centuries) coupled with France or Holy Roman Empire alliances in a more complete "location" and economic sense. This book also taught me many practical reality facts upon clothing, manners, choir music, art in fresco and much more for this Renaissance cauldron as lived in Milan and F [...]

    4. A fascinating biography of the woman who went toe to toe against Cesare Borgia, and nearly won. Caterina Sforza isn't as well known a figure of the Renaissance as Lucrezia Borgia or Isabella d'Este, but she should be: a blond beauty who mothered a brood of eight, wore out three husbands, killed countless enemies, defended her battlements by sword and word, and survived war and prison to fame and peace. Savage, intelligent, and loving by turns, her character can be summed up by the probably-apocr [...]

    5. Caterina Sforza went down in European History as the women who defied The Borgias, but this book spans her whole remarkable life. Married at ten years old to Pope Sixtus IV's nephew, her life was constant battle and she constantly had to defy other ruthless families to fight for her and her children's legacy. Besides her war side, Caterina saw some of Renaissance Italy's most famous pieces of art come together. Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo and was even added herself to some of the famous a [...]

    6. She was brave, strong and beautiful. Her life is dizzying. She did amazing things for a woman (or even a man) of her times. Her biography shows the paradox of the Italian Renaissance. The era's artistic achievements reflect its strong religious mores while a culture of war and terror destroys unnamed and uncounted people. This dual morality is not just among nobles like Caterina Riario Sforza de'Medici; it extends to the church and is fully embodied in her contemporary Pope Alexander VI Borgia.W [...]

    7. Lucid, fascinating, and full of well-observed detail, this is an excellent biography of an outstanding woman. I mean that literally. Caterina Sforza was more than she needed to be, more than anyone expected her to be, and yet in the end she put in so much effort to achieve so little. I can't accept "oh and her grandson became Duke of Tuscany" as a happy ending, hard as Lev tries to make it one.But if you want a biography as an introduction to the Renaissance, or if you know a lot about Florence [...]

    8. Caterina Riario Sforza de' Medici was a fascinating woman: beautiful and accomplished in the things people expected of a woman; a fertile and involved mother; a military tactician as capable of fighting as any of her men; an indomitable spirit who rightly captured the hearts and imaginations of many of her time. She had formidable enemies and allies who let her down all too often: she, perhaps, deserved the former, but not the latter."Feminism gone wild", one of the reviewers quoted on the cover [...]

    9. 4.5 stars. “Caterina was a firsthand witness to the corruption in the [Borgia] family; if she chose to recount her story, she warned that she would ‘shock the world’.” (Lev, p.247)In recent months (time of writing: August 2013) I have been increasingly interested in the history of the Italian Renaissance. This was one of the reasons I decided to buy this biography of Caterina Sforza by art historian Elizabeth Lev. In short: I'm so glad I did, because this book was fascinating and, after [...]

    10. While no masterpiece of the historian's art, Elizabeth Lev's The Tigress of Forlì is stirring and well-paced. An accomplished mistress of Renaissance Italian concepts of leadership, Caterina excelled as a politician, strategist, military chieftain, propagandist, and administrator. Men were her weakness. They served her poorly for most of her life. When the loathsome Cesare Borgia stormed the city of Forlì, and his French-led artillery breached the curtain wall of her fortress of Ravaldino, Cat [...]

    11. How is it possible that most of the world has forgotten such a dynamic, complex, amazing woman? A woman who, at seventh months pregnant, took control of the papal fort of Castel Sant'Angelo and held it, with some skillfully smuggled-in soldiers, for eleven days in order to defend her family's rights. A woman who went toe to toe, figuratively speaking, with one of the most brilliant wits of the Renaissance, Niccolo Machiavelli, and not only won but made Machiavelli look like an incompetent fool. [...]

    12. This is an accessible and readable biography of Caterina Sforza aimed at a popular general audience rather than an academic one. Lev is an art historian and her admiration for Sforza does make her sometimes a little insensitive to the more negative sources. Like Alison Weir, she is happy to quote from the positive, even hagiographical sources written by Caterina's own court followers, but dismisses those written outside of her own circle of influence as having been tampered with or edited to giv [...]

    13. Caterina Sforza is best remembered for her show down with Cesare Borgia at Forli, a military confrontation that humiliated Cesare and converted Caterina into legend. Despite her eventual defeat and imprisonment at the hands of the notorious son of Pope Alexander VI, Caterina Sforza was one of the very few of her time who bested Cesare at his own game and lived to tell about it. Elizabeth Lev paints Caterina Sforza's story with the expertise of a Renaissance master. We are given the rich tapestry [...]

    14. Before picking this up, all I knew about Caterina Sforza was that she was Cosimo de' Medici's grandmother, she was obviously related to the Sforzas in some nebulous way, and she may or may not have flashed her privates at an invading army from the battlements of her fortress. Basically, I just had a dim notion she was some Medici ancestor with a potentially scandalous history.The truth is far better. Yes, she was a Sforza, the illegitimate daughter of Galeazzo Sforza, Duke of Milan, brought up a [...]

    15. I am left feeling underwhelmed by this book, despite its competence. I rarely venture into the world of non-fiction but I have been curious about Caterina Sforza ever since reading anecdotes about her in Magnifico, the biography of Lorenzo Medici. Unfortunately, I was far more entranced by Magnifico than The Tigress of Forli.The story of Caterina Sforza is certainly worth telling. Whether you interpret her as admirable or cold-hearted, there is no denying she was a strong, driven woman who playe [...]

    16. (Note: Customer review from the Vine™ Program) I must confess, I was first attracted to this biography because I knew of Caterina Riario Sforza de Medici through the video game "Assassin's Creed II" and I wanted to learn her full story. Having read Mrs. Lev's first work, I am very glad that I did. In a little less than 300 pages, Mrs. Lev recounts the life of one of the most amazing women in Renaissance history, if not in all of history. Caterina was stubborn, brave, and passionate throughout [...]

    17. Truly a great (true) story about a strong woman who battled everything from thousands of invaders (once with her own sword), multiple assassinations, rape, years of imprisonment, marriages ended in tragedies, six children (at least two betrayed her due to their greed) - all during the Rennaissance era, where women's job mostly was to produce babies and stuff like that.The early chapters are not as exciting as the rest. Maybe that is why I waited a long time before getting my appetite back in rea [...]

    18. I loved this book. It is such a pity that her main home Ravaldino, the fortress, can't be visited as it is now a prison in the centre of Forlì. But as it kept being in use the walls are completely intact and probably the inside must be amazing to visit.Having read this book have such an interesting view on Romagna as a region without fo using on it. And reading about this extraordinary woman in those times in Italy wasn't only amazing but gave also a very good idea of the other side you don't r [...]

    19. Awesome! This is a fantastic bio of a heroine I have longed to know more about. Lev writes her bio as if it is a novel, and it is supremely entertaining and accessible! Brava!

    20. "Se io potessi scrivere tutto, farei stupire il mondo" (If I could write everything, I would shock the world). -- Caterina Sforza to a monk during the last decade of her life.A superbly researched biography of an extraordinary woman we don't hear enough about except her connection to the Borgias. Her story is a lot more interesting than Lucrieza's. At ten she was married to Sixtus IV's nephew, the archenemy of the Medicis Girolamo Riario. After Riarlo's assassination by the Orsi, she became the [...]

    21. I'll confess, I bought this book solely because of "ten more sons", but I was delighted to find a million more (and factual) reasons why Caterina is just about the most badass woman who ever lived. This was an incredibly well-written biography, packed with detail but also very easy to read. (The epilogue was a bit *too* novelistic, but the majority of the book wasn't nearly so fictionalized and fanciful, so I'll forgive that.) Overall, the author did a great job balancing the specifics of certai [...]

    22. This is biography that reads like fiction. Caterina Sforza was the most formidable woman of the Italian Renaissance -- and she was regarded by many as the most beautiful as well. She was painted by Botticelli in the most prominent panel in the Sistine Chapel. But it was her daring that set her apart from other women of the day (and most men, as well). She learned horsemanship and swordplay with her brothers in Milan, and at one point, when 8 months pregnant, she donned full armor and led a charg [...]

    23. "The Tigress of Forlì" is a biography of Caterina Sforza, one of the most remarkable women of the Renaissance. The title fits her well: Caterina was fiery, bold, proud and brave. She had many strenghts which made her more like a warrior than a woman (she even fought alongside her soldiers!), but she was also considered one of the most beautiful women of her period. She won the admiration and the hearts of many of her contemporaries, and for her whole life she received love letters from smitten [...]

    24. Well, if there is one thing that I learned from this book, is that it was very bad luck to be a noble person in Italy during the Renaissance. If you weren’t being poisoned, stabbed or having your house torn down, you were involved in a plot to poison, stab or tear down the house of someone else. Popes, Cardinals, and Archbishops were corrupt. Landowners spent money raised from taxing peasants to purchase clothing laden with gens and pearls to impress those same peasants that their little duchy [...]

    25. Wow……I’m really not sure what to say about this book. It was very hard for me to digest as I have a science background so didn’t know much of the history involved in Caterina’s life. However I love learning history this way and am currently watching the HBO series, The Borgias, so knew some of the key players in her life already. The history that HBO portrays is a bit different from the actual history in this biography but still it set the stage for me and gave me a context to put the [...]

    26. The story in which Caterina Sforza defies a besieging enemy who holds her children hostage by announcing that she can always have more is one of my favorites. Most accounts of Caterina have been hatchet jobs by men who despised her (or based on them), or too fawning accounts by her own political flunkies and subsequent myth makers attached to grandson Cosimo d'Medici. Italian art historian Elizabeth Lev attempts to find a middle way of plausible narrative in a life that is more interesting than [...]

    27. In "The Borgias" Caterina Sforza was a formidable force. She stood up to the Borgias and faced their fury. At that moment she was already a legend. If you want to know why she was called "the Tigress of Forli" this book is for you.

    28. I can see why this book was a suggestion from after reading about Olimpia Maidalchini. Caterina was an amazing woman in the time when Men were the dominating sex. She has a Joan of Arc warrior spirit. A warrior, a mother, a ruler. She balances all of her roles in society. She meets her fair share of sorrows but always seems to come out on top until the very end. I was on her team throughout the whole book. Very captivating story I wish I could read more stories like this! Love hearing about the [...]

    29. A somewhat novelized biography of a fascinating and lesser-known figure of Reinassance Italy. It’s lovely to see a book that looks outside Rome and Florence to the smaller cities and other important families of the period, e.g. the Visconti, Sforza, Gonzaga, Este and even the Manfredi and Ordelaffi for a change (I don’t share the obsession with the Borgia and Medici :). Entertaining and informative read (with a few mistakes) and with an emphasis on the costumes and arts of the period (probab [...]

    30. An amateur in this era of history, I approached THE TIGRESS OF FORLI with excitement but hesitation. However, the way that Lev writes about Italy and surrounding nations during the Renaissance is extremely easy to follow. The story of Caterina is engaging and interesting, full of wonderful facts about her life. I was thrilled to learn about this incredible woman and enjoyed this biography thoroughly. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in women in history or the renaissance.

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