To rescue her beloved husband Arnaud, who has recovered from illness only to be taken prisoner by the Moorish forces occupying southern Spain, Catherine sets off from her native France on a perilous quest.
Always in danger, she survives hardship and cruelty, high adventure and narrow escapes, to reach the heavily-guarded walls of the city of Granada. There she finds Arnaud – but he is now love-slave to the savage but beautiful Princess Zobeïda.
All Catherine’s plans seem doomed to failure when Caliph Muhammad, inflamed by the radiant wonder of her body, chooses her as the favourite of his harem …
Catherine: A Time for Love is the fifth book in Juliette Benzoni’s classic series of historical romances – back in print in the English language for the first time in decades.
406pp 6×9-format paperback novel.
Published April 2020
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juliette Benzoni was born Andrée-Marguerite-Juliette Mangin on 30 October 1920 in Paris, France. She spent her childhood in Saint-Germain-des-Pres until she was almost 15 years old, when her family went to live in Saint-Mandé. She was educated at College d’Hulet, then at the Institut Catholique, where she studied philosophy, law and literature. In 1941 she married a doctor from Dijon, Maurice Gallois, and was soon mother of two children, Anne and Jean-François. In her twenties, she spent many hours in libraries, studying the history of Burgundy in Medieval times. One day she came across the legend of the Order of the Golden Fleece, which would later inspire her to write the Catherine series.
After her husband died in 1950, she went to Morocco to visit a relative of his, and ended up staying for two years, joining the editorial staff at a radio station called Radio-International. She then met Colonel André Benzoni, who in 1953 became her second husband. After her return to Paris, France, she launched into journalism, writing for several newspapers. At the beginning of the 1960s, a literary editor who had seen her make a television appearance invited her to write a historical romance in the style of Anne Golon’s Angelique. The outcome was Catherine: One Love is Enough (original title, Catherine, Il Suffit d’un Amour), the hugely successful first entry in what was originally intended to be a five book series.
Next came another big success with the Marianne series, set during the Napoleonic period, beginning with Marianne: A Star for Napoleon (original title, Marianne: Une Étoile Pour Napoléon). Juliette was then asked if she would write two additional Catherine books, due to their sensational popularity. She agreed, and the series’ seventh and final entry, La Dame de Montsalvy, appeared in 1979.
In 1983, the French station Antenne 2 adapted Marianne: A Star for Napoleon for television, directed by Marion Sarraut. This led on three years later to a television adaptation of all seven books in the Catherine series, again directed by Sarraut; the end result pleased Juliette far more than a substandard movie version produced in 1968.
Juliette continued to write up to her death on 7 February 2016.
For more information about Juliette and the Catherine books click on this link to the official website: www.catherinedemontsalvy.ch.
Photo above is © Linda Compagnoni Walther