A review from The American Historical Review:
The Medici and the Italian Renaissance, by Oliphant Smeaton [World's Epoch Makers], is an informal and popular presentation of Florentine history, with such Roman additions as are justified by the migration of the younger Medici into the Curia. Among the pleasing features of the book is the evidence it affords of the increasing number of readers who are interesting themselves in the Renaissance. Attractive as that period unquestionably is, it is no easy task to treat it in a popular manner, and Mr. Smeaton has chosen the best method, in making the Medici the central figures of his book, grouping about them the lights of the age, artistic and literary, and subordinating the interplay of political forces, French, Spanish, and German, which could only serve to complicate hopelessly the subject.
...and another from The London Quarterly Review:
Mr. Smeaton's object has been to trace the continuity of aim which ran through the Renaissance patronage of the great house of Medici from the days of Cosimo to the time of Pope Clement VII., and he has done his task well. The record of shame and political betrayal associated with the Medici must not blind us to their devotion to literature. Throughout a whole century they proved themselves among the truest patrons of learning that the world has known. Lorenzo the Magnificent did more to place Florence in the forefront of the world's culture than any other of its citizens. "His influence was great because he was in sympathy so catholic with all the varied life of his age and circle. Truly a unique personality, at one and the same time the glorious creation and the splendid epitome of the spirit of the Renaissance!" In 1492, a month before his death, his son Giovanni, a youth of sixteen, was invested with the honours as cardinal, which his father's influence had secured for him three years earlier. He became pope in 1513, and gave full play to his humanistic bent. He drew around him such a vast and varied assemblage of talented and cultured men and women as has probably never been gathered together before or since in a single city. Mr. Smeaton shows us the glories of the age, and his picture is singularly impressive. Its darker sides must be added from other sources. Liberty and morality were sacrificed to a heathen ideal of culture. Art and literature flourished; religion seemed on its death-bed. Its resurrection was not due to the Medici, but to the son of a German peasant.
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