House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall

( 10 )

Overview

It was a dynasty with more wealth, passion, and power than the houses of Windsor, Kennedy, and Rockefeller combined. It shaped all of Europe and controlled politics, scientists, artists, and even popes, for three hundred years. It was the house of Medici, patrons of Botticelli, Michelangelo and Galileo, benefactors who turned Florence into a global power center, and then lost it all.

The House of Medici picks up where Barbara Tuchman's Hibbert delves into the lives of the Medici...

See more details below
Paperback (1st Morrow Quill Paperback Edition)
$15.35
BN.com price
(Save 9%)$16.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (53) from $1.99   
  • New (13) from $7.23   
  • Used (40) from $1.99   
The House Of Medici: Its Rise and Fall

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.99
BN.com price

Overview

It was a dynasty with more wealth, passion, and power than the houses of Windsor, Kennedy, and Rockefeller combined. It shaped all of Europe and controlled politics, scientists, artists, and even popes, for three hundred years. It was the house of Medici, patrons of Botticelli, Michelangelo and Galileo, benefactors who turned Florence into a global power center, and then lost it all.

The House of Medici picks up where Barbara Tuchman's Hibbert delves into the lives of the Medici family, whose legacy of increasing self-indulgence and sexual dalliance eventually led to its self-destruction. With twenty-four pages of black-and-white illustrations, this timeless saga is one of Quill's strongest-selling paperbacks.

First published in 1974 under the title "The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici".

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688053390
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/1999
  • Series: Harper Perennial
  • Edition description: 1st Morrow Quill Paperback Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 132,140
  • Lexile: 1410L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Hibbert, an Oxford graduate, has written more than fifty books, including Wellington: A Personal History, London: The Biography of a City, Redcoats and Rebels, and The Destruction of Lord Raglan. He lives with his family in Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, England.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

One September morning in 1433, a thin man with a hooked nose and sallow skin could have been seen walking towards the steps of the Palazzo della Signoria in Florence. His name was Cosimo de' Medici; and he was said to be one of the richest men in the world. As he entered the palace gate an official came up to him and asked him to wait in the courtyard: he would be taken up to the Council Chamber as soon as the meeting being held there was over. A few minutes later the captain of the guard told him to follow him up the stairs; but, instead of being shown into the Council Chamber, Cosimo de' Medici was escorted up into the bell-tower and pushed into a cramped cell known as the Alberghettino - the Little Inn - the door of which was shut and locked behind him. Through the narrow slit of its single window, so he later recorded, he looked down upon the city.

It was a city of squares and towers, of busy, narrow, twisting streets, of fortress -- like palaces with massive stone walls and overhanging balconies, of old churches whose facades were covered with geometrical patterns in black and white and green and pink, of abbeys and convents, nunneries, hospitals and crowded tenements, all enclosed by a high brick and stone crenellated wall beyond which the countryside stretched to the green surrounding hills. Inside that long wall there were well over 50,000 inhabitants, less than there were in Paris, Naples, Venice and Milan, but more than in most other European cities, including London -- though it was impossible to be sure of the exact number, births being recorded by the haphazard method of dropping beans into a box, a black bean for a boy, a white one for a girl.

For administrativepurposes the city was divided into four quartieri and each quartiere was in turn divided into four wards which were named after heraldic emblems. Every quartiere had its own peculiar character, distinguished by the trades that were carried on there and by the palaces of the rich families whose children, servants, retainers and guards could be seen talking and playing round the loggie, -- the colonnaded open-air meeting grounds where business was also discussed.

The busiest parts of the city were the area around the stone bridge, the Ponte Vecchio, which spanned the Arno at its narrowest point and was lined on both sides with butchers' shops and houses; the neighbourhood of the Orsanmichele, the communal granary, where in summer the bankers set up their green cloth-covered tables in the street and the silk merchants had their counting-houses ; and the Mercato Vecchio, the big square where once the Roman Forum had stood. Here, in the Mercato Vecchio, the Old Market, were the shops of the drapers and the second-hand clothes dealers, the booths of the fishmongers, the bakers and the fruit and vegetable merchants, the houses of the feather merchants and the stationers, and of the candle-makers where, in rooms smoky with incense to smother the smell of wax, prostitutes entertained their customers. On open counters in the market, bales of silk and barrels of grain, corn and leather goods were exposed for sale, shielded by awnings from the burning sun. Here also out in the open barbers shaved beards and clipped hair; tailors stitched cloth in shaded doorways; servants and housewives gathered round the booths of the cooked-food merchants; bakers pushed platters of dough into the communal oven; and furniture makers and goldsmiths displayed their wares. Town-criers marched about calling out the news of the day and broadcasting advertisements; ragged beggars held out their wooden bowls; children played dice on the flagstones and in winter patted the snow into the shape of lions, the heraldic emblem of the city. Animals roamed everywhere: dogs wearing silver collars; pigs and geese rooting about in doorways; occasionally even a deer or a chamois would come running down from the hills and clatter through the square.

Not many years before, though Dante had denounced their luxurious manners, the Florentines seem to have frowned upon any untoward display of wealth. They had dressed very simply, the standard costume for all men who were artisans being an ankle-length gown of dark-coloured cloth, buttoned down the front like a cassock. Their houses, too, had been unassuming. Even those of the richest families had been furnished with plain wooden tables and the -- most uninviting beds. The walls were generally whitewashed, tapestries being unpacked from chests to be displayed on special occasions only; floors were of bare stone, rarely covered with anything other than reed matting; the shuttered windows were usually made of oiled cotton. Glass and majolica ornaments were few and discreet; silverware was produced from the sideboard, or from a locked cupboard in the master's room, for none but the honoured guest; and few families yet had forks. In more recent years, however, though the Florentines continued to enjoy a reputation for frugality, they had become noticeably less abstemious and restrained. The stone houses of the well-to-do still presented a severe, even forbidding appearance to the street; but behind the glazed and curtained windows of the upper storeys, the rooms were frequently carpeted, the walls painted with murals, hung with tapestries, religious pictures and occasionally concave looking-glasses to reflect light onto a table or desk. Fireplaces were much more common so that on cold winter nights warming-pans and scaldini -- earthenware jars filled with hot charcoal -- were not so necessary. Much of the furniture was painted or decorated with marquetry. The canopied beds, standing on raised platforms and surrounded by footboards, were very large - often twelve feet wide - big enough for four people or even more to sleep in them side by side, lying naked beneath the linen sheets and breathing in air made sweet by scent or by herbs burning slowly in pierced globes hanging from the ceiling. The House of Medici. Copyright © by Christopher Hibbert. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good historical read

    This was the first history book I read. I was kind of doubtful if I was gonna like it. But, it is very easy to read; it introduces the reader to one of the most prominent European families during the Middle Ages and Renaissance times. The author really makes this subject gripping and the book reads like a modern day novel.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2005

    Amazing Portrayal of Florentine History and the domination therein of the powerful Meici Family

    This book is fantastic. I'm still in the process of reading it but everything up to now is amazing. Hibbert provides a looking glass not only into the history of the Medici but an accurate glance at Florentine life in Medieval and Renaissance Italy. Since it reads like a textbook, its difficult to read for long periods of time, but for any fan of history, not to mention being a worthy book to site in a research paper or dissertation, I highly recommend it.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 25, 2014

    Powerful book about the ultimate power family

    In preparation for a trip to Florence, I ordered up this book. The book gives a very good overview of the growth of Florence as an international financial center and the personalities of the various scions of the Medici family. The major bonus for anyone travelling to Florence, however, are the extensive end notes that pinpoint scores of sites in Florence, how they relate to history and who built, endowed, and decorated them. Christopher Hibbert is a masterful writer and a respected historian. This book is a must read before you travel to Florence whether you are interested in its art, its history or its personality.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 25, 2013

    good history

    good history

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)