Cardinal's Hat: Money, Ambition, and Housekeeping in a Renaissance Court

Cardinal's Hat: Money, Ambition, and Housekeeping in a Renaissance Court

by Mary Hollingsworth
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Jonathan Yardley
In the remarkable story of the Borgias and their many offshoots, he is not a footnote but a chapter and, as told in The Cardinal's Hat , an intriguing one indeed.
— The Washington Post
Library Journal
Using freshly discovered archival records from Modena, Italy, Hollingsworth, a scholar of Italian Renaissance art and architecture, here skillfully conjures another time and place. With deft writing, insight, and humor, she unpacks a treasure trove of Ippolito d'Este's personal ledgers and account books. Ippolito D'Este was the second son of Duke Alfonso of Este and Lucretia Borgia. His brother, Ercole, assumed control of the duchy (encompassing Ferrara, Modena, and Reggio) on the death of his father, and Ippolito began a career in the Church, becoming the archbishop of Milan at the young age of ten. In the course of his career, he made friends with such powerful figures as Francis I of France, who was a major force in his earning a cardinal's hat in 1539. Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, Pope Paul III, and Benvenuto Cellini are some of the prominent characters who grace the pages of Hollingsworth's book. A rich panorama of 16th-century Italy comes alive in this intricately detailed story of a prince of a very worldly Roman Catholic Church. Highly recommended for general and academic libraries.-Larry Cooperman, Florida Metro. Univ.-North Orlando Campus, Orlando Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Ippolito D'Este (1509-72), the second son of Lucretia Borgia, Duchess of Ferrara, learns how to succeed in the business of ecclesiastical advancement by really trying. In 1999, the author, an authority on Renaissance architecture (Patronage in Renaissance Italy: From 1400 to the Early Sixteenth Century, 1994, etc.), discovered in Modena a rich archive comprising more than 2,000 letters and 200 account books relating to the career of Ippolito, who lived a lavish life as a prince while he and his family negotiated with a reluctant, simoniacal Pope Paul III for Ippolito's appointment as a cardinal. With these documents, Hollingsworth reconstructs in minute detail the comings and goings of Ippolito: what he ate, what he wore, how he succeeded (or failed) at cards and tennis, how he tipped, whom he bribed, how he decorated his residences and on and on. Hollingsworth organizes this impressively illustrated volume in traditional chronological fashion (our hero is born on page 15), pausing occasionally to describe such things as Renaissance banquets, the massive renovations at Ippolito's Palazzo San Francesco (his only extant residence), the wardrobe of the prince (including 468 shoe laces!). Of greater interest are the political maneuverings. Charles V (Holy Roman Emperor) and Francis I of France were competing for European dominance-along with the pope-and Ercole II (the Duke of Ferrara, Ippolito's older brother) sided with the French. Ippolito became a favorite of Francis and lived in his court for some years, but when it looked as if Francis couldn't assure Ippolito of his cardinal's hat, Charles V offered his patronage, an offer Ippolito declined to take. It wasn't until 1539 that the popewas sufficiently persuaded to appoint Ippolito (power, patronage and money were the sticking points). Hollingsworth ends her account as Ippolito consolidates his authority-and begins to count his cash. A plethora of detail threatens to overpower this nonetheless fascinating and intimate view of a powerful, appealing man. (4 maps; 35 b&w illustrations)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585678037
Publisher:
The Overlook Press
Publication date:
04/25/2006
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
308
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.86(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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