on 9 May 2016
A delve into a particularly unappealing chapter of Florentine history, Murder of a Medici Princess reads like popular history - fast, engaging and as entertaining as the subject matter allows - but is in fact very scholarly. There is an enormous amount of detail. The rise of the Medici dukes, who were the aristocratic but grandly unlikeable successors to Cosimo, Piero and Lorenzo, the great patrons of Renaissance Florence, is shown in its European context, but more interesting is the web of family connections, loyalties and frictions within the Medici, its interactions with the social and moral atmosphere of the time, and the way that even some of the most powerful women in Europe could not escape the revenge of jealous men. This is another side to Florence, much darker than the age inhabited by Brunelleschi and Botticelli but just as relevant and, in its own way, just as interesting.