The Washington Post
The Cardinal's Hat: Money, Ambition, and Everyday Life in the Court of a BorgiaPrinceby Mary Hollingsworth
The Cardinal's Hat is the fascinating story of how Ippolito d'Este, the second son of Lucretia Borgia, acquired the coveted cardinal's hat and became the Archbishop of Milan. Working with Ippolito's letters and ledgers, recently uncovered in an archive in Modena, Italy, Mary Hollingsworth has pieced together a fascinating and undeniably titillating/b>
The Cardinal's Hat is the fascinating story of how Ippolito d'Este, the second son of Lucretia Borgia, acquired the coveted cardinal's hat and became the Archbishop of Milan. Working with Ippolito's letters and ledgers, recently uncovered in an archive in Modena, Italy, Mary Hollingsworth has pieced together a fascinating and undeniably titillating tale of this Renaissance cardinal and his road to power and wealth in sixteenth century Europe.
The ledgers document every aspect of Ippolito's comings and goings, and he comes to life out of the minutiae, as do the lives of his staff.
The Washington Post
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.24(w) x 9.28(h) x 1.24(d)
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
Meet the Author
Mary Hollingworth received her Ph.D. in Renaissance Architecture from the University of Anglia. She ahs lectured in art and architecture at several universities in the United Kingdom and has published several books on the patronage of Italian Renaissance art, as well as articles in Art History, Atlas of World Art, and The Times (London), among others.
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Few historical periods are as intriguing as the Renaissance few families fascinate as much as the Borgias. However, we've not been privy to many firsthand accounts of daily life among the powerful in 16th century Italy. Now, thanks to a bit of luck and assiduous research, art historian Mary Hollingsworth presents a detailed picture of Ippolito d'Este, the second son of Lucretia Borgia who later became Archbishop of Milan. In Modena, Italy, Hollingsworth came upon a treasure - over 2,00 letters and 200 account books pertaining to the days of Ippolito. The ledgers contain such minute details as the items in his wardrobe, what he ate. He wasn't timid about keeping a log of his women right along with his horses, dogs, falcons, peacocks, and a plethora of servants. Nor, was he embarrassed to note how much was spent on bribes and to whom he paid them. Thus, readers have the unparalleled experience of seeing courtly life on a daily basis, even to Ippolito's visit to the mistress of the King of France while she was in her bath. Ippolito reached the ripe old age of 29 before he received the cardinal's red hat, which at that time was a guarantee of wealth and power. He was a man who enjoyed women thoroughly and often, gambled frequently, and spent time hunting rather than in prayer. Thus, his elevation to such a lofty position had naught to do with religiosity, much to do with politics. Mary Hollingsworth has created an amazing view of everyday life among the rich and powerful in Renaissance Italy. Highly recommended. - Gail Cooke