Death in Florence

Death in Florence

by Paul Strathern


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By the end of the fifteenth century, Florence was well established as the home of the Renaissance. As generous patrons to the likes of Botticelli and Michelangelo, the ruling Medici embodied the progressive humanist spirit of the age, and in Lorenzo de' Medici they possessed a diplomat capable of guarding the militarily weak city in a climate of constantly shifting allegiances. In Savonarola, an unprepossessing provincial monk, Lorenzo found his nemesis. Filled with Old Testament fury, Savonarola's sermons reverberated among a disenfranchised population, who preferred medieval Biblical certainties to the philosophical interrogations and intoxicating surface glitter of the Renaissance. The battle between these two men would be a fight to the death, a series of sensational events—invasions, trials by fire, the 'Bonfire of the Vanities', terrible executions and mysterious deaths—featuring a cast of the most important and charismatic Renaissance figures.In an exhilaratingly rich and deeply researched story, Paul Strathern reveals the paradoxes, self-doubts, and political compromises that made the battle for the soul of the Renaissance city one of the most complex and important moments in Western history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681772301
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 10/25/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 456
Sales rank: 275,792
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Paul Strathern is a Somerset Maugham Award-winning novelist, and his nonfiction works include The Venetians, Death in Florence, The Medici, Mendeleyev’s Dream, and The Borgias, all available from Pegasus Books. He lives in England.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Maps xi

The Medici Family Tree xiii

Leading Dramatis Personae and Main Factions xv

Prologue: 'The needle of the Italian compass' 1

1 A Prince in All but Name 11

2 'Blind wickedness' 39

3 Lorenzo's Florence 54

4 Securing the Medici Dynasty 75

5 Pico's Challenge 86

6 The Return of Savonarola 99

7 Cat and Mouse 111

8 The End of an Era 128

9 Noah's Ark 141

10 A Bid for Independence 152

11 Italy faced hard times… beneath stars hostile to her good' 167

12 I will destroy all flesh' 179

13 Humiliation 197

14 A New Government 211

15 The Voices of Florence 230

16 'A bolt from the blue' 239

17 The Bonfire of the Vanities 259

18 'On suspicion of heresy' 274

19 Open Defiance 291

20 The Tables Are Turned 303

21 Ordeal by Fire 316

22 The Siege of San Marco 322

23 Trial and Torture 331

24 Judgement 349

25 Hanged and Burned 359

Aftermath 368

Notes 372

Bibliography 405

Index 409

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