Quotation by Honoré De Balzac

In France, and at the most important period of our history, Catherine de' Medici has suffered more from popular error than any other woman, unless it be Brunehaut or Frédégonde; while Marie de' Medici, whose every action was prejudicial to France, has escaped the disgrace that should cover her name.... Catherine de' Medici ... saved the throne of France, she maintained [the] Royal authority under circumstances to which more than one great prince would have succumbed. Face to face with such leaders of the factions and ambitions of the houses of Guise and of Bourbon as the two Cardinals de Lorraine and the two "Balafrès," the two Princes de Condé, Queen Jeanne d'Albret, Henri IV, the Connétable de Montmorency, Calvin, the Colignys and Théodore de Bèze, she was forced to put forth the rarest fine qualities, the most essential gifts of statesmanship, under the fire of the Calvinist press.
Honoré De Balzac (1799–1850), French novelist. Comédie humaine (1846, trans. by George Saintsbury, 1971). About Catherine of Medici, introduction, Catherine de Medici expliquée, Souverain (1843).

Balzac's judgement on Catherine de Medici.
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