The Black Prince of Florence: The Spectacular Life and Treacherous World of Alessandro de Medici

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9780099586944: The Black Prince of Florence: The Spectacular Life and Treacherous World of Alessandro de Medici

'Nothing in sixteenth-century history is more astonishing than the career of Alessandro de' Medici' (Hilary Mantel). In The Black Prince of Florence, a dramatic tale of assassination, spies and betrayal, the first retelling of Alessandro's life in two-hundred years opens a window onto the opulent, cut-throat world of Renaissance Italy.

The year is 1531. After years of brutal war and political intrigue, the bastard son of a Medici Duke and a ‘half-negro’ maidservant rides into Florence. Within a year, he rules the city as its Prince. Backed by the Pope and his future father-in-law the Holy Roman Emperor, the nineteen-year-old Alessandro faces down bloody family rivalry and the scheming hostility of Italy’s oligarchs to reassert the Medicis’ faltering grip on the turbulent city-state. Six years later, as he awaits an adulterous liaison, he will be murdered by his cousin in another man’s bed.

From dazzling palaces and Tuscan villas to the treacherous backstreets of Florence and the corridors of papal power, the story of Alessandro’s spectacular rise, magnificent reign and violent demise takes us deep beneath the surface of power in Renaissance Italy – a glamorous but deadly realm of spies, betrayal and vendetta, illicit sex and fabulous displays of wealth, where the colour of one’s skin meant little but the strength of one’s allegiances meant everything.

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About the Author:

Catherine Fletcher is a historian of Renaissance and early modern Europe. Her first book, The Divorce of Henry VIII, brought to life the world of the Papal court at the time of the Tudors. Subsequently, Catherine worked with the set team on the BBC’s adaptation of Wolf Hall, advising the production on the historical detail of religious ceremony, dress and furnishings. She broadcasts frequently for BBC Radio 4 on Italian Renaissance history and is currently a BBC New Generation Thinker. Catherine now holds the position of Associate Professor in History and Heritage at Swansea University, has previously held fellowships at the British School at Rome and the European University Institute, and has taught at Royal Holloway, Durham and Sheffield universities.

Review:

"A spectacular, elegant, brilliant portrait of skulduggery, murder and sex in Renaissance Florence" -- Simon Sebag Montefiore * Evening Standard, Books of the Year * "Nothing in sixteenth century history is more astonishing to our era than the career of Alessandro de' Medici. His story, told by an exact and fluent historian, challenges our preconceptions. Catherine Fletcher's eye for the skewering detail makes the citizens of renaissance Florence live again: courtesans and cardinals, artists and assassins" -- Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall "Astonishing ... gripping and original ... a compelling portrait" -- Matthew Lyons * Financial Times * "Packed with intrigue ... Fletcher describes with cool menace the plotting and politicking that dominated Alessandro's rule ... brought splendidly to life in this excellent book" -- Dan Jones * Sunday Times * "A scintillating book that glisters and gleams with stabbings, poisonings, adultery and intrigue - and a startling reminder of how visceral and dangerous Renaissance Florence was. The drama of events is perfectly complemented by careful scholarship and lucid writing. This is everything a historical biography should be" -- Ian Mortimer, author of The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England "In this brilliantly written and impeccably researched biography, Catherine Fletcher brings Renaissance Florence vividly to life. The story of Alessandro de' Medici's brief and bloody ascendancy reveals the darker side of this most dazzling and cultured of cities, beset by intrigue, violence and betrayal. A stunning book." -- Tracy Borman, author of Thomas Cromwell: The untold story of Henry VIII's most faithful servant "Bold, breathless and full of suspense" -- Daisy Dunn * The Times * "A seductive, shimmering and significant retelling of a man whose rise to power was ... as unlikely as it was extraordinary" -- Thomas Penn * Guardian * "Engrossing ... bursts with stabbings, poisonings, duels, eye-gougings, arquebus shootouts and people being run through with swords. Fletcher's approach is scholarly yet dramatic, immersed in Renaissance glamour ... a tremendous step forward in our knowledge of this intriguing man" -- Alex von Tunzelmann * Spectator * "More than just a forensic reconstruction of the period ... Like a detective, Fletcher interrogates her witnesses ... But it is among the detailed records of Alessandro's wardrobe-keepers that she finds her treasure ... These lend her narrative a sensuous vividity" -- Frances Wilson * Sunday Telegraph *

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2017. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. `A spectacular, elegant, brilliant portrait of skulduggery, murder and sex in Renaissance Florence Simon Sebag Montefiore, Evening Standard, Books of the Year 1531 - after years of brutal war and political intrigue, the bastard son of a Medici Duke and a `half-negro maidservant rides into Florence. Within a year, he rules the city as its Prince. Backed by the Pope and his future father-in-law the Holy Roman Emperor, the nineteen-year-old Alessandro faces down bloody family rivalry and the scheming hostility of Italy s oligarchs to reassert the Medicis faltering grip on the turbulent city-state. Six years later, as he awaits an adulterous liaison, he will be murdered by his cousin in another man s bed. `Nothing in sixteenth-century history is more astonishing Hilary Mantel. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099586944

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2017. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. `A spectacular, elegant, brilliant portrait of skulduggery, murder and sex in Renaissance Florence Simon Sebag Montefiore, Evening Standard, Books of the Year 1531 - after years of brutal war and political intrigue, the bastard son of a Medici Duke and a `half-negro maidservant rides into Florence. Within a year, he rules the city as its Prince. Backed by the Pope and his future father-in-law the Holy Roman Emperor, the nineteen-year-old Alessandro faces down bloody family rivalry and the scheming hostility of Italy s oligarchs to reassert the Medicis faltering grip on the turbulent city-state. Six years later, as he awaits an adulterous liaison, he will be murdered by his cousin in another man s bed. `Nothing in sixteenth-century history is more astonishing Hilary Mantel. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099586944

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Book Description Vintage Books. Book Condition: New. 1531 - after years of brutal war and political intrigue, the bastard son of a Medici Duke and a "Half-negro" maidservant rides into Florence. Within a year, he rules the city as its Prince. Backed by the Pope and his future father-in-law the Holy Roman Emperor, the nineteen-year-old Alessandro faces down bloody family rivalry. Num Pages: 352 pages. BIC Classification: 1DST; 3JB; BGH; HBJD; HBLH; HBTB; JPHL. Category: (G) General (US: Trade); (P) Professional & Vocational; (U) Tertiary Education (US: College). Dimension: 198 x 129. Weight in Grams: 368. . 2017. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099586944

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