Henri II: His Court and Times
Henri II of France, future father-in-law of Mary Queen of Scots, was a man who was passionately constant in his loves, and equally unbending in his hatreds.
When he and his elder brother, the Dauphin, were seven and eight respectively they were sent into Spain as hostages for the release of their father. For four years they were held under harsh conditions - kept from company, from education, even from servants of their own language. By the time they returned home the Dauphin was more Spanish than French, and young Henri was awkward, taciturn and morose.
To give a rounded view of Henri's life, from his unloved youth to the shocking accident that caused his death, the author looks also at the lives of the powerful men and women who influenced him: his libertine and self-centred father François I, his autocratic grandmother Louise of Savoy, his wife Catherine de' Medici, and her hated rival Diane de Poitiers, the Constable Montmorency and growing power of the family de Guise.
Henri II - His Court and Times: Amazon US / Amazon UK
The Dunnett connection:
Henri and his court form the background to the second book in the Lymond series, Queen's Play, and a substantial part of the final volume, Checkmate.