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The Merchant of Prato: Francesco Di Marco Datini: Daily Life in a Medieval Italian City [Paperback]

Iris Origo
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Price: 10.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

10 Dec 1992
Francesco di Marco Datini, the 14th-century Tuscan merchant who forms the subject of the Marchesa Origo's study, has now probably become the most intimately accessible figure of the later-Middle Ages. In 1870 the whole astonishing cache, containing some 150,000 letters and great numbers of business documents, came to light. The Marchesa Origo has drawn on this material to paint, in detail, a picture of Italian domestic life on the eve of the Renaissance.

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The Merchant of Prato: Francesco Di Marco Datini: Daily Life in a Medieval Italian City + War in Val D'Orcia: An Italian War Diary, 1943-1944
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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (10 Dec 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140172181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140172188
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 202,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Iris Origo, the Marchesa Origo (1902-1988) was an American writer who lived in Italy. Her other books include Leopardi and The Last Attachment.

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Customer Reviews

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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this wonderful book 20 Oct 2000
I had this book on my shelf for years before I read it. But once I started I was hooked. Before long you're engrossed in life in the Middle Ages. But not as an outsider. This cranky merchant and his gentle, wise friend become part of your life - and strange as it may sound, enrich it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Iris Origo was evidently just lucky in obtaining permission to use this matchless collection of bills and letters of Tuscan Merchant Francesco di Marco Datini - which enabled her to pull together such a detailed description of domestic life at the end of the Middle Ages - not that Francesco and his wife spent much time together, and it is their correspondence which helps Origo build the characters of the pair - and thus bring a book of weights, measures and taxes to abundant life.
A must for anyone interested in life in Florence and environs before the Medici.
For more information about the writing of this book read Iris Origo: Marchesa of Val D'OrciaImages and Shadows (Nonpareil Book)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting 7 Feb 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An interesting book given a new slant on this period, as it is out of print I was pleased to find a copy
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Time & Place 8 Jan 2010
By Frances Ciminelli - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm a history buff and this book was, to me, a wonderful walk thru the Medieval period. It describes daily life, business practices, travel, family relationships, homes, family & friend relationships, the relocation of the Pope to Avignon etc. etc. I thought Iris Origo's form of writing was flowing and not in one part of the book did it drag or become boring. I intend to read more by Iris Origo.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating...could not put it down 13 Jan 2013
By a reader in MD - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this on a whim. I am not a huge history buff, in fact I usually read fiction. I have read the obligatory, and did enjoy Schama's "An Embarassment of Riches" and many of Barbara Tuchman's books....but this is different and so much more authentic. The trove of papers and letters that are the basis for this book, provide fascinating details into life at the time, along with the emotion, eccentricity, and spirit of the merchant.
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