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Catherine Butterfield (former actress at OSF) talks about her novel The Serpent and the Rose

July 14 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Sunday July 14th  4:00 to 5:00 pm

The Serpent and the Rose is a captivating tale that skillfully weaves together historical, dramatic and personal elements. Catherine Butterfield brings to life a fascinating period in French history and paints a complex and memorable portrait of Queen Marguerite de Valois.

In 16th century France, Marguerite de Valois is growing up in one of Europe’s most dysfunctional families – the Medici clan. Their extreme inbreeding has led to an alarming number of genetic defects in France’s kings. Marguerite alone has escaped this curse. Uncharacteristically beautiful, intelligent, and sane, she is seen as a useful pawn by her mother, Catherine de Medici. In a scheme to unite the country during the raging religious wars, the queen decides to marry her Catholic daughter to Protestant Henri, Prince of Navarre, a charming libertine. De Medici’s plan backfires, however, when the populace recoils at the union. Immediately following the wedding a key Huguenot figure is murdered, which leads to the deaths of thousands of Huguenots in Paris, slaughtered by their neighbors in what has come to be known as the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre. Henri barely escapes Paris with his life and Marguerite, sequestered at court by order of de Medici, finds herself a newlywed without a husband.

As an actress, Catherine Butterfield  spent her early career acting regionally (Seattle Rep, Pittsburgh Public, Long Wharf, Oregon Shakespeare Festival are a few) and then started writing for the stage. Her first break as a playwright came with the Manhattan Theatre Club production of JOINED AT THE HEAD, which she wrote and starred in, leading to other productions of her plays in the city and the beginnings of her TV career. She has been a writer or writer/producer on the television programs “The Ghost Whisperer,” “Grimm”, “Party of Five, and “FAME LA” and has done uncredited work on a number of feature films. Two of her short films, “Faultless” and “Just Another BIrthday in Bedlam,” have won Telly awards, a gold and a bronze for Best Remote Production. Her Youtube channel has a large number of the short films she shot during the pandemic under the heading “Life During Lockdown,” as well as readings of a few of her plays.

“The Serpent and the Rose” is Ms. Butterfield’s first novel. She lives in Santa Monica, California.


July 14
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Bloomsbury Books Ashland
290 East Main Street
Ashland, OR 97520 United States
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