King Francis I of France
Francis I was inconstant, amorous, hot-headed and flawed. Yet he was also arguably the most significant king that France ever had. This is his story.
A contemporary of Henry VIII of England, Francis saw himself as the first Renaissance king, a man who was the exemplar of courtly and civilised behaviour throughout Europe. A courageous and heroic warrior, he was also a keen aesthete, an accomplished diplomat and an energetic ruler who turned his country into a force to be reckoned with.
Yet he was also capricious, vain and arrogant, taking hugely unnecessary risks, at least one of which nearly resulted in the end of his kingdom. His great feud with his nemesis Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, defined European diplomacy and sovereignty, but his notorious alliance with the great Ottoman ruler Suleiman the Magnificent threatened to destroy everything.
With access to never-before-seen private archives, Leonie Frieda's comprehensive and sympathetic account explores the life of the most human of all Renaissance monarchs - and the most enigmatic.
Leonie Frieda became a bestselling author with her first book, CATHERINE DE MEDICI, which reprinted six times in hardback Marvellous reviews: 'A most fascinating picture of French court life. The political complexities are kept mercifully clear, the main lines of rivalry sharp, the characters vivid' - Anne Wroe, Daily Telegraph 'This masterful and compelling biography...narrative history at its best, both scholarly and as captivating as a thriller. She has brought a largely forgotten heroine-villainess and a whole sumptuously vicious era to life again' - Simon Sebag Montefiore, Mail on Sunday Paperback has now sold 60,000 copies and is reprinting regularly RENAISSANCE WOMEN plays to author's strengths and her knowledge of this period of European history
Swedish by birth, but educated in Britain, Leonie Frieda speaks five languages and is a member of the Institute of Linguists. Her long interest in Catherine de Medici resulted in a biography that was a bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic and was translated into six languages. She lives in London with her daughter Elisabeth and son Jake.