Four Princes: Henry VIII, Francis I, Charles V, Suleiman the Magnificent and the Obsessions that Forged Modern Europe

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9781473632950: Four Princes: Henry VIII, Francis I, Charles V, Suleiman the Magnificent and the Obsessions that Forged Modern Europe

Renowned historian John Julius Norwich has crafted a bold tapestry of Europe and the Middle East in the early sixteenth century, when a quartet of legendary rulers―all born within a ten-year period―towered over the era.

Francis I of France was the personification of the Renaissance, and a highly influential patron of the arts and education. Henry VIII, who was not expected to inherit the throne but embraced the role with gusto, broke with the Roman Catholic Church and appointed himself head of the Church of England. Charles V, the most powerful and industrious man at the time, was unanimously elected Holy Roman Emperor. Suleiman the Magnificent―who stood apart as a Muslim―brought the Ottoman Empire to its apogee of political, military, and economic power.

Against the vibrant background of the Renaissance, these four men collectively shaped the culture, religion, and politics of their respective domains. With remarkable erudition, John Julius Norwich delves into this entertaining and layered history, indelibly depicting four dynamic characters, and how their incredible achievements―and obsessions with one another―changed European history.

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About the Author:

John Julius Norwich is the author of many books, including A History of Venice and Byzantium, as well as the New York Times bestseller Absolute Monarchs: A History of the Papacy.

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Finally, after nearly a week spent in further frenzied preparation, Henry and Francis came together―for the first time in their lives―at the Field of the Cloth of Gold.

It was a magnificent name, and the occasion was more magnificent still, with each of the two protagonists determined to outdo the other in splendor. Henry brought with him a suite of well over five thousand men, together with nearly three thousand horses; another six thousand artisans from both England and Flanders―builders, stonemasons, carpenters, glaziers and the rest―had been working flat out for months, transforming the castle of Guines and surrounding it with temporary structures so elaborate and fantastical that they seemed to have come straight out of a fairy tale. Francis, we may be sure, kept a close eye on their work; whatever Henry could do, he was determined to do better.

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John Julius Norwich
Published by John Murray (2016)
ISBN 10: 1473632951 ISBN 13: 9781473632950
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