Sunday, March 16, 2008
25. "Courtesan" - Diane Haeger
In this thick novel, Haegar gives a romanticized account of the relationship between King Henri II of France and his mistress, Diane de Poitiers. Their relationship began when he was young; she was twice his age and a recent widow.
The Madame's record of wearing only black and white is a significant, though unintended, theme of the book. Diane is always picked on by others, yet gives only good advice and decent actions.
It seems as if she had no backbone, and to be part of the French court, one must be able to laugh at oneself. She bristled over her role as "courtesan," even though she had more power than the queen. I'm not sure if this is the rose-colored vision of the author or the reality, but for such a hefty book, I longed for a more dramatic telling of historical events.
3.25 out of 5.0 Jakes.