No matter how long I live here, I cannot get enough of the Medici.
The more I learn, the more I see their stamp on every single street in Florence, or discover their echo hidden behind the many walls that hold secrets. I am fast becoming obsessive, leaping at every conversational chance to share a gossipy new tidbit I’ve discovered. I can’t be stopped! And nor should I be, or any lover of Medici history…
To feed your Medici addiction, here’s a list of great books you may have missed.
“The Medici: Story of a European Dynasty” by Franco Cesati
Franco Cesati stands out amongst Medici writers because he is a journalist, and he applies this journalistic eye to the rise and fall of the dynasty. This excellent book gives a solid overview of the centuries of Medici power.
“Medici: Masters of Florence” by Matteo Strukul
This is fresh of the presses this year and the literary accompaniment to the new television series. It is the first of a trilogy that charts the rise of the House of Medici to their powerful takeover as Masters of Florence.
“The Montefeltro Conspiracy: A Renaissance Mystery Decoded” by Marcello Simonetta
A professor of European Political History who is fascinated by 15th and 16th century Italy, Simonetta’s books are well worth the read. Here he breaks down the Pazzi conspiracy, showing how it was part of a vicious and unprecedented plot by the Pope to overthrow Florence.
“Death in Florence: The Medici, Savonarola and the Battle for the soul of the Renaissance” by Paul Strathern
Strathern is a well loved British writer who takes us into the great fight for the very soul of Florence – the puritan monk Savonarola and his ideological war with the extravagant Lorenzo de Medici for control of the people of Florence; a battle that ended in death.
“Murder of a Medici Princess” by Caroline P. Murphy
Isabella de’ Medici was the daughter of Cosimo I, and lived a dramatic life of love affairs and permissiveness that was scandalous for a noble woman of the time. She was murdered by her husband’s hand, with the approval of her brother, the only way left to control a woman who would not be contained.
“The Last Medici” by Harold Acton
The famous late historian, Acton takes us into the least examined period of the Medici dynasty, it’s unfortunate end, which is when our Medici Dynasty Show is also set so we adore him. In this book you will meet Cosimo III and his wild wife, Marguerite-Louise d’Orl, and end with the tragic final years of their son Gian Gastone and his sister Anna Maria Luisa. The perfect accompaniment to The Medici Dynasty Show!
*You can buy these books at Paperback Exchange, the Anglo-American bookshop in Florence. (Via dell’ Oche, 4r)
by Marisa Garreffa