LEONIE FRIEDA    Book Number: 84341    Product format: Paperback

Even today, 15th century Italy, that dangerous and exhilarating place, still glitters. Many of the great sculptures, churches, frescoes adorned with the faces of their patrons remain familiar today. The popes, dukes, cardinals, bankers and soldiers immortalise their names through their patronage of the Humanist artists, architects, poets and writers. Leonardo da Vinci, Luigi Pulci, Brunelleschi, Boccaccio, Michelangelo were but a few of their number. And of course Petrarch's name and splendour of the world he inhabited has penetrated far into our time. This is the famous world of the 15th century Italian Renaissance. What we know far less about is the real and still hidden history of that time inside a small palace chapel, crossing a Florentine piazza in the ball rooms, bed chambers and corridors of power. It is a history driven by some of the bravest and most brilliant women of the age and this book recreates the tempestuous lives and careers of eight of them. All were connected by the dense family relations and dynastic politics of the time. Their letters are crammed with family news, daily events and apparent trivia and whether rivals or friends, the actions and exchanges of these women tell us far more than any formal accounts. The ruling house of Mantua for instance would gather all their gold and ornaments together to be worn and displayed by the wife who came from neighbouring Ferrara. In the court of Milan, her younger sister and rival Beatrice reigned supreme. Rich with history and intrigue both in Italy and Spain in particular, here is the world of the Borgias where Renaissance princesses spoke Latin, Italian, French, Catalan and perhaps a little Greek. Here are the women not afraid to wield the sword against their enemies in the murderous struggles that dominated the peninsular, the women who experienced wealth, power and the smile of fortune but also knew banishment, poverty, fear and loss. Real history at its best. 24 pages of colour photos, 403pp in paperback. Special import.
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Bibliophile price: £3.50

Additional product information

ISBN 9780753828441
Browse these categories as well: Last Chance to buy!, Historical Biography, Crime, History

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