The Family Medici: The Hidden History of the Medici Dynasty

11 CDs. 12:53 hrs. Tantor Audio. Mar. 2018. ISBN 9781977305503. $29.95. digital download. HIST
One of the most powerful families in Italian history, the Medici were known for their wealth and generous support of Renaissance art. Representing the most Machiavellian of Machiavellians, powerful patriarchs including Lorenzo the Magnificent and Cosimo expanded their financial empires and exerted their power at the expense of everyone from pope to priest. In this exposé of the entire clan, Hollingsworth (The Borgias) moves chronologically through the rise and fall of the family in encyclopedic fashion. The coverage is remarkably broad, spending significant time with even the most obscure members spanning 1216, when the family was "irredeemably bourgeois," to the death of Gian Gastone in 1737. Chapter titles including "Imperial Poodles," "Pride," and "Adultery" certainly reveal the author's sentiments on the family. For the audio, Anne Flosnik brings her years of narrating experience to bear for the tour of Renaissance genealogy, moving effortlessly from one Medici to the next. The pacing is exceptional as Flosnik regales listeners with tales of one bad egg after another.
VERDICT An essential audio for fans of popular history.
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