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The Black Prince of Florence


The Black Prince of Florence
  • Author : Catherine Fletcher
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Release : 2016-09-01
  • ISBN : 9780190612726
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De
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"Ruler of Florence for seven bloody years, 1531 to 1537, Alessandro de' Medici was arguably the first person of color to serve as a head of state in the Western world. Born out of wedlock to a dark-skinned maid and Lorenzo de' Medici, he was the last legitimate heir to the line of Lorenzo the Magnificent. When Alessandro's noble father died of syphilis, the family looked to him. Groomed for power, he carved a path through the backstabbing world of Italian politics in a time when cardinals, popes, and princes vied for wealth and advantage. By the age of nineteen, he was prince of Florence, inheritor of the legacy of the grandest dynasty of the Italian Renaissance. Alessandro faced down family rivalry and enormous resistance from Florence's oligarchs, who called him a womanizer-which he undoubtedly was--and a tyrant. Yet this real-life counterpart to Machiavelli's Prince kept his grip on power until he was assassinated at the age of 26 during a late-night tryst arranged by his scheming cousins. After his death, his brief but colorful reign was criticized by those who had murdered him in a failed attempt to restore the Florentine republic. For the first time, the true story is told in The Black Prince of Florence. Catherine Fletcher tells the riveting tale of Alessandro's unexpected rise and spectacular fall, unraveling centuries-old mysteries, exposing forgeries, and bringing to life the epic personalities of the Medicis, Borgias, and others as they waged sordid campaigns to rise to the top. Drawing on new research and first-hand sources, this biography of a most intriguing Renaissance figure combines archival scholarship with discussions of race and class that are still relevant today."--Provided by publisher.

The Black Prince of Florence


The Black Prince of Florence
  • Author : Catherine Fletcher
  • Publisher : Vintage Books
  • Release : 2017-04-20
  • ISBN : 0099586940
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De
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'A spectacular, elegant, brilliant portrait of skulduggery, murder and sex in Renaissance Florence' Simon Sebag Montefiore,Evening Standard, Books of the Year1531 - 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

The Beauty and the Terror


The Beauty and the Terror
  • Author : Catherine Fletcher
  • Publisher : Random House
  • Release : 2020-03-05
  • ISBN : 9781473553156
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De
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'Brilliant and gripping, here is the full true Renaissance in a history of compelling originality and freshness' SIMON SEBAG MONTEFIORE The Italian Renaissance shaped western culture – but it was far stranger and darker than many of us realise. We revere Leonardo da Vinci for his art but few now appreciate his ingenious designs for weaponry. We know the Mona Lisa for her smile but not that she was married to a slave-trader. We visit Florence to see Michelangelo's David but hear nothing of the massacre that forced the republic’s surrender. In focusing on the Medici in Florence and the Borgias in Rome, we miss the vital importance of the Genoese and Neapolitans, the courts of Urbino and Mantua. Rarely do we hear of the women writers, Jewish merchants, the mercenaries, engineers, prostitutes, farmers and citizens who lived the Renaissance every day. In fact, many of the most celebrated artists and thinkers that have come to define the Renaissance – Leonardo and Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian, Machiavelli and Castiglione – emerged not during the celebrated ‘rebirth’ of the fifteenth century but amidst the death and destruction of the sixteenth century. For decades, a series of savage wars dominated Italy’s political, economic and daily life, generating fortunes and new technologies, but also ravaging populations with famine, disease and slaughter. In this same short time, the birth of Protestantism, Spain’s colonisation of the Americas and the rise of the Ottoman Empire all posed grave threats to Italian power, while sparking debates about the ethics of government and enslavement, religious belief and sexual morality. In The Beauty and the Terror, Catherine Fletcher provides an enrapturing narrative history that brings all of this and more into view. Brimming with life, it takes us closer than ever before to the lived reality of this astonishing era and its meaning for today.

Black Africans in Renaissance Europe


Black Africans in Renaissance Europe
  • Author : Thomas Foster Earle
  • Publisher : Cambridge University Press
  • Release : 2005-05-26
  • ISBN : 0521815827
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De
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This book, first published in 2005, opens up the much neglected area of the black African presence in Western Europe during the Renaissance. Covering history, literature, art history and anthropology, it investigates a whole range of black African experience and representation across Renaissance Europe, from various types of slavery to black musicians and dancers, from real and symbolic Africans at court to the view of the Catholic Church, and from writers of African descent to black African 'criminality'. The main purpose of the collection is to show the variety and complexity of black African life in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Europe, and how it was affected by firmly held preconceptions relating to the African continent and its inhabitants. Of enormous importance for both European and American history, this book mixes empirical material and theoretical approaches, and addresses such issues as stereotypes, changing black African identity, and cultural representation in art and literature.

Our Man in Rome


Our Man in Rome
  • Author : Catherine Fletcher
  • Publisher : Random House
  • Release : 2012-02-02
  • ISBN : 9781448129522
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De
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1527. Gregorio 'The Cavalier' Casali is Henry VIII's man in Rome. An Italian freelance diplomat, he charmed his way into the English service before he was twenty. But now he faces an almighty challenge. Henry wants a divorce from Catherine of Aragon, and Casali must persuade Pope Clement VII of his master's case. Set against the backdrop of war-torn Renaissance Italy, Our Man in Rome weaves together tales from the grubby underbelly of Tudor politics with a gripping family saga to reveal the extraordinary true story behind history's most infamous divorce. Through six years of cajoling, threats and bribery, Casali lives by his wits. He manoeuvres his brothers into lucrative diplomatic postings, plays off one master against another, dodges spies, bandits and noblemen alike. But as the years pass and Henry's case drags on, his loyalties are increasingly suspected. What will be Casali's fate? Drawing on hundreds of unknown archive documents, Our Man in Rome reconstructs his tumultuous life among the great and powerful at this turning point for European history. From the besieged Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome to the splendours of Greenwich Palace, we follow his trail in the service of Henry VIII. Lavish ceremony and glamorous parties stand in contrast to the daily strains of embassy life, as Casali pawns family silver to pay the bills, fights off rapacious in-laws and defends himself in the face of Anne Boleyn's wrath. This vivid and compelling book will make us think anew about Henry, Catherine and the Tudor world.