The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici

The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici

Book - 1974
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Publisher: London : Allen Lane, c1974.
ISBN: 9780713909555
Characteristics: 364 pages


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Jun 05, 2014

This book is written mostly about the early Medici’s with the first third of the book being about the legendary Cosimo de’ Medici, the middle taking in another 40 years and 4 Medici’s and the end cramming in the last 200 years including 2 popes.

With my pre-existing (though sketchy) knowledge of 16th and 17th century Italian history, from Michelangelo and the Sistine chapel to Martin Luther and Galileo, this book really filled in and connected some people and kingdoms in a way I wasn’t aware of. The detail provided for the Florentine customs and politics was fascinating if a little long winded at times. It would have been extremely useful to have a map of the city of Florence detailing at least some of the areas and buildings mentioned, there were so many buildings mentioned, especially in the latter half of the book that I felt as if I spent more time googling them than reading. The names also got a little confusing as there seemed to be at least two members of the family for every name. The narrative almost exclusively deals with the Medici’s in Florence and doesn’t stray far from home. There is little mentioned of France, Spain or Rome unless it is directly linked to Florence and the Medici’s.
I appreciated reading a non-fiction history book that isn’t too dry or boring and I found this one to be extremely interesting, well written and researched.

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