Anne Thériault | Longreads | September 2018 | 18 minutes (4,588 words)
From the notorious to the half-forgotten,Queens of Infamy, a Longreads series by Anne Thériault, focuses on badass world-historical women of centuries past.
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The year was 1519. Henry VIII was king of England and still (mostly) happily married to Catherine of Aragon. The throne of France was held by Francis I, also known as “Francis of the Large Nose,” which may or may not have been a dick joke. Charles I of Spain had just become Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. Martin Luther was stirring up shit in Germany. And in Florence, a couple whose union represented a last-ditch coalition between France and the Pope against the ever-expanding Holy Roman Empire welcomed their first child, a daughter they named Catarina Maria Romula de’ Medici (hereafter referred to as Catherine).
I like to think of the…
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