‘This forensic study of the Renaissance banking dynasty conjures up a world of art, literature, philosophy – and brutality’ Telegraph
‘Likely to become the standard work of reference on the members of the family that dominated Florence’ TLS
‘A lucid and beautifully illustrated family history’ The Times
Wealthy bankers, wise politicians, patrons of the arts, glittering dukes… so runs the traditional telling of the story of the Medici, the family that ruled Florence for two hundred years and inspired the birth of the Italian Renaissance.
In this definitive account of their rise and fall, Mary Hollingsworth argues that the idea that the Medici were wise rulers and enlightened fathers of the Renaissance is a fiction. In truth, she says, the Medici were as devious and immoral as the Borgias – tyrants loathed in the city they illegally made their own and which they beggared in their lust for power.