Furies: War in Europe, 1450-1700by Lauro Martines
We think of the Renaissance as a shining era of human achievementa pinnacle of artistic genius and humanist brilliance, the time of Shakespeare, Michelangelo, and Montaigne. Yet it was also an age of constant, harrowing warfare. Armies, not philosophers, shaped the face of Europe as modern nation-states emerged from feudal society. In Furies, one of the/i>
We think of the Renaissance as a shining era of human achievementa pinnacle of artistic genius and humanist brilliance, the time of Shakespeare, Michelangelo, and Montaigne. Yet it was also an age of constant, harrowing warfare. Armies, not philosophers, shaped the face of Europe as modern nation-states emerged from feudal society. In Furies, one of the leading scholars of Renaissance history captures the dark reality of the period in a gripping narrative mosaic.
As Lauro Martines shows us, total war was no twentieth-century innovation. These conflicts spared no civilians in their path. A Renaissance army was a mobile city-indeed, a force of 20,000 or 40,000 men was larger than many cities of the day. And it was a monster, devouring food and supplies for miles around. It menaced towns and the countryside-and itself-with famine and disease, often more lethal than combat. Fighting itself was savage, its violence increased by the use of newly invented weapons, from muskets to mortars.
For centuries, notes Martines, the history of this period has favored diplomacy, high politics, and military tactics. Furies puts us on the front lines of battle, and on the streets of cities under siege, to reveal what Europes wars meant to the men and women who endured them.
“A story that is as gripping as it is horrifying.” The Washington Times
“Lauro Martines's new book is a godsend . . . made a pleasure to read by the author's nimble and darkly humorous prose, he has given us an unforgettable glimpse into a violent--and rarely seen--age.” Paul D. Lockhart, MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History
“An intriguing book.... Every situation and character Martines presents to usis of marvelous complexity.” New York Review of Books
“A spine-chilling political drama of conspiracy, murder at High Mass, and bloody revenge.” The Times (UK)
“Impressive narrative power.... A thoroughly good read that is also reliable history, scrupulously documented yet with its pages uncluttered by footnotes... Savonarola's story...bears fresh retelling, and Lauro Martines does so with scholarly authority and an admirable combination of clarity and pace.” The Wall Street Journal
“Fascinating.... Martines is a master researcher and, like a collector showing off his treasures, his delight in his findings sparkles on every page.” Philadelphia Inquirer
- Bloomsbury USA
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)
Meet the Author
Lauro Martines is one of the worlds foremost historian's of the Italian Renaissance and early modern Europe. He is the author of nine books, most recently the critically acclaimed titles Fire in the City: Savonarola and the Struggle for the Soul of Renaissance Florence and April Blood: Florence and the Plot Against the Medici. Born in Chicago, he was a professor of history at UCLA. He now lives in London with his wife, the novelist Julia OFaolain.
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