Intro to Catherine de Medici: Why do we love to hate a woman in power?

Dr. Leah Redmond Chang

History's leading ladies often come with a bad reputation. What can the Black Queen teach us about the misunderstood women of the past?

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Catherine de Medici: a true villain, or another victim of history’s misrepresentation of female monarchs?

Since her reign in the 16th Century, Catherine de Medici’s name has been synonymous with cruelty, crazed lust for power and cold-blooded murder. And yet female monarchs have been misrepresented, misunderstood and maligned throughout history. 

So, what’s the truth? Was Catherine truly the monster she has been painted to be, or a more nuanced and sympathetic figure than we have been led to believe? Join Dr. Leah Redmond Chang to find out.

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50 minutes



About the Fellow

Dr. Leah Redmond Chang

Leah researched and wrote extensively about the role of female authorship and queens during the Renaissance era. She is a former Associate Professor of French and Director of the French Literature Program at George Washington University

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Rethinking Collection

It’s always good to question what we think we know. The Rethinking Collection is a series of Garden Talks by world experts that reexamine the ideas and events that have shaped and continue to shape our world.