April Blood: Florence and the Plot against the Medici
One of the world's leading historians of Renaissance Italy brings to life here the vibrant--and violent--society of fifteenth-century Florence. His disturbing narrative opens up an entire culture, revealing the dark side of Renaissance man and politician Lorenzo de' Medici. On a Sunday in April 1478, assassins attacked Lorenzo and his brother as they attended Mass in the cathedral of Florence. Lorenzo scrambled to safety as Giuliano bled to death on the cathedral floor. April Blood moves outward in time and space from that murderous event, unfolding a story of tangled passions, ambition, treachery, and revenge. The conspiracy was led by one of the city's most noble clans, the Pazzi, financiers who feared and resented the Medici's swaggering new role as political bosses--but the web of intrigue spread through all of Italy. Bankers, mercenaries, the Duke of Urbino, the King of Naples, and Pope Sixtus IV entered secretly into the plot. Florence was plunged into a peninsular war, and Lorenzo was soon fighting for his own and his family's survival. The failed assassination doomed the Pazzi. Medici revenge was swift and brutal--plotters were hanged or beheaded, innocents were hacked to pieces, and bodies were put out to dangle from the windows of the government palace. All remaining members of the larger Pazzi clan were forced to change their surname, and every public sign or symbol of the family was expunged or destroyed. April Blood offers us a fresh portrait of Renaissance Florence, where dazzling artistic achievements went side by side with violence, craft, and bare-knuckle politics. At the center of the canvas is the figure of Lorenzo the Magnificent--poet, statesman, connoisseur, patron of the arts, and ruthless "boss of bosses." This extraordinarily vivid account of a turning point in the Italian Renaissance is bound to become a lasting work of history.
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2 Social Climbers
4 The Pazzi Family
6 Enter Lorenzo
7 April Blood
9 A Soldier Confesses
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Alamanno ambassador Andrea Antonio April Plot Archbishop of Pisa Archbishop Salviati armed banker blood brothers Bruges Cardinal cathedral century Church citizens city's claim Cola Montano confession Conspiracy conspirators Cosimo councils Count Girolamo Riario cousins daughter death debt dowry Duke of Milan Eight enemies exile father favour fear Florence Florence's Florentine florins Forli Francesco Francesco Salviati friends Galeazzo Maria Galeazzo Maria Sforza Giannozzo Giovanni girl Girolamo Riario Giuliano Gonfalonier government palace Guglielmo Guicciardini Holy honour humanist Imola King Ferrante knight later letters Lord Priors Lorenzo Luca Pitti marriage married Medicean Medici Bank Medici Palace merchants Messer Jacopo Milanese Montesecco murder nephews Niccolò oligarchy Orsini papal Pazzi Bank Pazzi Conspiracy Pazzi family Piero political Poliziano Pope Sixtus Pope Sixtus IV princes Renaissance Renato republic republican Rinuccini Rome Roover social Soderini soldiers Strozzi Tommaso troops turned Urbino Venice wealth