As a descendant of both Catherine de Medici and Diane de Poitiers, and an insider who has seen her share of palace intrigues, no writer could be more equipped than Princess Michael of Kent to explore one of history's most fascinating royal love stories.
Catherine de Medici was fourteen when she was bartered in marriage to France by her ambitious cousin, Pope Clement VII.
Catherine fell in love with her future husband, Henri, at first sight.
But Henri had eyes only for his mistress, the beautiful Diane de Poitiers, eighteen years his senior.
Diane and Henri ruled as one, their intertwined monograms and signature black and white colours appearing on everything from royal proclamations to palace doorknobs.
Catherine, despised at court, watched miserably as Henri became Dauphin and then King, each day growing more devoted to Diane.
Only Henri's death at the age of forty-two ended his love for Diane and Catherine's long, agonizing 'hate and wait'.
THE SERPENT AND THE MOON is peopled by the most illustrious figures of the time - including Henry VIII of England, Francois I, and Anne Boleyn.
A ten-year labour of love from a uniquely qualified writer, this is a moving and personal love story as well as a richly woven history of an extraordinary time.