The Medici
Mary Hollingsworth

The Medici

 

The real story of the Medici is not the one that is usually told. The sanitized version - that they were wise rulers and enlightened patrons of the arts, the fathers of the Renaissance - is a fiction devised by later generations who reinvented their past to create this myth that now has the status of historical fact. In truth, they were just as devious and immoral as the infamous Borgias, tyrants loathed in the city they illegally made their own and which they beggared in their lust for power. This book explodes our gilded image of the Medici to reveal the sordid tale behind their astonishing trajectory from moneylending to the cream of Europe's nobility

Book Details:

  • Author: Mary Hollingsworth
  • Published Year: 2017
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: Head of Zeus
    • Poland: Bellona
    • US: Pegasus

Mary Hollingsworth

Mary Hollingsworth has a B.Sc. in business studies and a Ph.D. in art history. Her doctoral thesis dealt with the role of the architect in Italian Renaissance building projects and led to research on the role of the patron in the development of Renaissance art and architecture, a subject she taught to undergraduates and postgraduates, and published in two books (see below). Her subsequent work on the papers of Cardinal Ippolito d’Este considerably broadened her horizons, and expertise, well beyond the confines of art history into the everyday world of Renaissance Europe. She has publ...
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Book Reviews

  • "Mary Hollingsworth's excellent study of the Medici… a careful, understated book, largely uninterested in the grand revisionist statements used to sell popular histories, and it is all the better for it…her book is never short on drama. In fact, it's littered with events worthy of any gangster movie or bonkbuster. Flick to any page and you might find Giuliano de' Medici being stabbed to death by a rival banker in the Duomo in 1478, or Dianora de' Medici and Isabella de' Medici being strangled by their husbands within six days of each other in 1576 - the former, Hollingsworth notes, done in with "a dog leash".It is a striking family portrait, but also, by proxy, a picture of a world that, despite its fine flourishes of art, literature and natural philosophy, was cynical, brutal and precarious.."
    Daily Telegraph
  • "  A lucid and beautifully illustrated family history ... she covers with a daunting grasp of the labyrinthine family tree, the dynasty' s full 500 year span."
    Times Book of Week