Murder of a Medici Princess

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Oxford University Press, Apr 18, 2008 - History - 416 pages
7 Reviews
In Murder of a Medici Princess, Caroline Murphy illuminates the brilliant life and tragic death of Isabella de Medici, one of the brightest stars in the dazzling world of Renaissance Italy, the daughter of Duke Cosimo I, ruler of Florence and Tuscany. Murphy is a superb storyteller, and her fast-paced narrative captures the intrigue, the scandal, the romantic affairs, and the violence that were commonplace in the Florentine court. She brings to life an extraordinary woman, fluent in five languages, a free-spirited patron of the arts, a daredevil, a practical joker, and a passionate lover. Isabella, in fact, conducted numerous affairs, including a ten-year relationship with the cousin of her violent and possessive husband. Her permissive lifestyle, however, came to an end upon the death of her father, who was succeeded by her disapproving older brother Francesco. Considering Isabella's ways to be licentious and a disgrace upon the family, he permitted her increasingly enraged husband to murder her in a remote Medici villa. To tell this dramatic story, Murphy draws on a vast trove of newly discovered and unpublished documents, ranging from Isabella's own letters, to the loose-tongued dispatches of ambassadors to Florence, to contemporary descriptions of the opulent parties and balls, salons and hunts in which Isabella and her associates participated. Murphy resurrects the exciting atmosphere of Renaissance Florence, weaving Isabella's beloved city into her story, evoking the intellectual and artistic community that thrived during her time. Palaces and gardens in the city become places of creativity and intrigue, sites of seduction, and grounds for betrayal. Here then is a narrative of compelling and epic proportions, magnificent and alluring, decadent and ultimately tragic.
 

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MURDER OF A MEDICI PRINCESS

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Portrait of an Italian princess who bucked tradition, embraced the arts and constantly defied her husband's wishes.Isabella de' Medici (1542-1576) was the daughter of Cosimo de' Medici, Duke of ... Read full review

Fantastic Read

User Review  - Klasina - Borders

I thouroghly enjoyed this book. It is easy to read, but still captures your curiosity. Being a newbie to the world of the Medici's, I found it informative without out being confusing. The only thing I ... Read full review

Contents

A Summers Day at Cerreto Guidi
1
A MEDICI CHILDHOOD
5
A MEDICI PRINCESS GROWS UP
51
THE FIRST LADY OF FLORENCE
107
MEDICI MACHINATIONS
179
THE TROUBLES OF A MEDICI PRINCESS
251
FINAL ACTS
303
Isabella Eterna
345
Bibliography
353
Notes
361
List of plates
381
Acknowledgements
383
Index
385
Copyright

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Page 14 - Leghorn and His Lordship the Duke left Pisa, accompanied by many noble Florentines and by his whole court. Just about midway on that road the two Excellencies met, a most noble and beautiful couple. After marital greetings and caresses they joyfully came into Pisa, where, in order to do honor to Her Ladyship the Duchess, there had been erected triumphal arches and other sumptuous decorations.

About the author (2008)

Caroline P. Murphy is a cultural historian and biographer who lives in Cambridge, Mass. She is the author of Lavinia Fontana: A Painter and Her Patrons in Sixteenth-Century Bologna and The Pope's Daughter: The Extraordinary Life of Felice Della Rovere.

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