My next big project comes from that genre. I’ll be telling the story of a woman from the House of Savoy during the 17th century. In the mid-19th century, the Savoy King was the driving force that unified the Italian peninsula into the country we know today as Italy.
But two hundred years earlier they were, quite literally, a house divided. Duke Vittorio Amadeo died (some believe poisoned by his enemies), leaving his wife Cristina to serve as Regent until her young son could rule the House. She had the qualifications: her older brother was King of France, one sister was Queen of England, another Queen of Spain. Her mother was from the powerful Medici family of Florence.
But the fallen Duke’s two brothers Tommaso and Maurizio were not happy with the choice of Cristina. They were allied with the Spanish throne and feared her ties to France threatened their own ambitions. Spain and France were already involved in battles and skirmishes throughout Europe. The danger to the House of Savoy was very real.
Cristina, Duchess of Savoy ruled for 26 years. She sometimes battled sometimes negotiated but won a delicate balance between Spain and France, outsmarted and outlasted her two brothers-in-law in a bloody civil war, and raised four children. She instituted political and cultural reforms, constructed roads, built hospitals, and improved the living conditions of her subjects.
Everybody has heard of Elizabeth 1 of England or Catherine the Great of Russia, but almost nobody knows the story of Cristina. I plan to change that.
I am nearly finished with the research phase and (almost) ready to start writing. I’ll keep you posted!