By Lauro Martines

One of many world's prime historians of Renaissance Italy brings to existence the following the vibrant--and violent--society of fifteenth-century Florence. His tense narrative opens up a complete tradition, revealing the darkish aspect of Renaissance guy and flesh presser Lorenzo de' Medici. On a Sunday in April 1478, assassins attacked Lorenzo and his brother as they attended Mass within the cathedral of Florence. Lorenzo scrambled to safeguard as Giuliano bled to demise at the cathedral flooring. April Blood strikes outward in time and area from that murderous occasion, unfolding a narrative of tangled passions, ambition, treachery, and revenge. The conspiracy used to be led via one of many city's such a lot noble clans, the Pazzi, financiers who feared and resented the Medici's swaggering new function as political bosses--but the net of intrigue unfold via all of Italy. Bankers, mercenaries, the Duke of Urbino, the King of Naples, and Pope Sixtus IV entered secretly into the plot. Florence used to be plunged right into a peninsular battle, and Lorenzo used to be quickly battling for his personal and his family's survival. The failed assassination doomed the Pazzi. Medici revenge was once quick and brutal--plotters have been hanged or beheaded, innocents have been hacked to items, and our bodies have been positioned out to grasp from the home windows of the govt palace. All last contributors of the bigger Pazzi extended family have been pressured to alter their surname, and each public signal or image of the kinfolk was once expunged or destroyed. April Blood deals us a clean portrait of Renaissance Florence, the place astonishing creative achievements went part through facet with violence, craft, and bare-knuckle politics. on the heart of the canvas is the determine of Lorenzo the Magnificent--poet, statesman, gourmand, customer of the humanities, and ruthless "boss of bosses." This terribly bright account of a turning aspect within the Italian Renaissance is sure to turn into a long-lasting paintings of historical past.

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Extra resources for April Blood: Florence and the Plot against the Medici

Sample text

On occasion, for one job or another, he had also served the Duke and had access to the court. His murderous feelings, however, stemmed mainly from a sharp quarrel with the mighty Bishop of Como over a rich parcel of lands and houses that had been let to the Lampugnani brothers by the former abbot of Morimondo, a rich old abbey out in the country. When Morimondo passed suddenly into the possession of the new Bishop of Como, this high cleric, Branda da Castiglione, a notorious spender and a powerful official in Galeazzo Maria's court, repudiated the lease and the brothers were 'chased out' of the properties in question.

But 1478 ended this brilliant social flight. By the time Piero de' Medici turned to the Roman nobility for his son Lorenzo's marriage partner, he had certainly taken counsel. He had heard from his own father, the consummate politician Cosimo; from the Milanese ambassador to Florence, Nicodemo Tranchedini; and from his own brother-in-law and chief of the Roman branch of the Medici Bank, Giovanni Tornabuoni, who had made the discreet initial inquiries. Florence's principal family was looking for an alliance with an equivalent family in Rome, hence negotiations could not but be realistic; and yet the Medici were climbing.

Later, he would serve for a year in Florence (1427—28) as Capitano del Popolo, one of the city's leading judges and police magistrates. Here he entered into close contact with a lively circle of humanists, most of them held in thrall by the study of antiquity and much taken with the elan and liberties of the ancient Roman republic. They longed to see Florence in this image. Already a republican, Porcari was emboldened by his Florentine experience, and in speeches delivered [-] APRIL BLOOD there as Capitano, afterwards much transcribed and passed around, he declared 'that Florence seemed to him the ideal of a perfect civil and political life, and that the grandeur, beauty, and glory of the Florentine Republic dazzled and bewildered him'.

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