The Black Prince of Florence by Catherine Fletcher
The Spectacular Life and Treacherous World of Alessandro de' Medici

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews

The Black Prince is a dark and murderous tale that is exceptionally well-told. It leaves the reader rushing from page to page wanting more.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

Ruler of Florence for seven bloody years, 1531 to 1537, Alessandro de' Medici was arguably the first person of color to serve as a head of state in the Western world. Born out of wedlock to a dark-skinned maid and Lorenzo de' Medici, he was the last legitimate heir to the line of Lorenzo the Magnificent. When Alessandro's noble father died of syphilis, the family looked to him. Groomed for power, he carved a path through the backstabbing world of Italian politics in a time when cardinals, popes, and princes vied for wealth and advantage. By the age of nineteen, he was prince of Florence, inheritor of the legacy of the grandest dynasty of the Italian Renaissance.

Alessandro faced down family rivalry and enormous resistance from Florence's oligarchs, who called him a womanizer-which he undoubtedly was--and a tyrant. Yet this real-life counterpart to Machiavelli's Prince kept his grip on power until he was assassinated at the age of 26 during a late-night tryst arranged by his scheming cousins. After his death, his brief but colorful reign was criticized by those who had murdered him in a failed attempt to restore the Florentine republic. For the first time, the true story is told in The Black Prince of Florence.

Catherine Fletcher tells the riveting tale of Alessandro's unexpected rise and spectacular fall, unraveling centuries-old mysteries, exposing forgeries, and bringing to life the epic personalities of the Medicis, Borgias, and others as they waged sordid campaigns to rise to the top. Drawing on new research and first-hand sources, this biography of a most intriguing Renaissance figure combines archival scholarship with discussions of race and class that are still relevant today.
 

About Catherine Fletcher

See more books from this Author
Catherine Fletcher is a historian of Renaissance and early modern Europe. Her first book, The Divorce of Henry VIII, brought to life the Papal court at the time of the Tudors. She consulted on the Golden-Globe-winning TV miniseries Wolf Hall and regularly broadcasts for BBC radio. She is Associate Professor in History and Heritage at Swansea University and has held research fellowships in London, Florence and Rome.
 
Published August 1, 2016 by Oxford University Press. 336 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, War.
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for The Black Prince of Florence
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Robert Davis on Aug 31 2016

The Black Prince is a dark and murderous tale that is exceptionally well-told. It leaves the reader rushing from page to page wanting more.

Read Full Review of The Black Prince of Florence:... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

Financial Times

Good
Reviewed by Mathew Lyons on Apr 29 2016

Here she has used the same skills to even greater effect, creating a compelling portrait of a forgotten man — himself both brutal and brutalised — once at the very heart of the Renaissance world order.

Read Full Review of The Black Prince of Florence:... | See more reviews from Financial Times

The Economist

Above average
on May 07 2016

Ms Fletcher can find no motive for the murder of Alessandro by Lorenzino, who was himself assassinated in 1548. But it is impossible to finish this medieval melodrama without thinking that it would make a riveting series for an enterprising TV producer.

Read Full Review of The Black Prince of Florence:... | See more reviews from The Economist

Rate this book!

Add Review
×