Reviews

  • A spectacular, elegant, brilliant portrait of skulduggery, murder and sex in Renaissance Florence

    Simon Sebag Montefiore, Evening Standard, Books of the Year
  • Nothing in sixteenth century history is more astonishing to our era than the career of Alessandro de’ Medici. His story, told by an exact and fluent historian, challenges our preconceptions. Catherine Fletcher’s eye for the skewering detail makes the citizens of renaissance Florence live again: courtesans and cardinals, artists and assassins

    Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall
  • Astonishing … gripping and original … a compelling portrait

    Matthew Lyons, Financial Times
  • Packed with intrigue … Fletcher describes with cool menace the plotting and politicking that dominated Alessandro’s rule … brought splendidly to life in this excellent book

    Dan Jones, Sunday Times
  • A scintillating book that glisters and gleams with stabbings, poisonings, adultery and intrigue – and a startling reminder of how visceral and dangerous Renaissance Florence was. The drama of events is perfectly complemented by careful scholarship and lucid writing. This is everything a historical biography should be

    Ian Mortimer, author of The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England
  • In this brilliantly written and impeccably researched biography, Catherine Fletcher brings Renaissance Florence vividly to life. The story of Alessandro de' Medici's brief and bloody ascendancy reveals the darker side of this most dazzling and cultured of cities, beset by intrigue, violence and betrayal. A stunning book.

    Tracy Borman, author of Thomas Cromwell: The untold story of Henry VIII's most faithful servant
  • Bold, breathless and full of suspense

    Daisy Dunn, The Times
  • A seductive, shimmering and significant retelling of a man whose rise to power was ... as unlikely as it was extraordinary

    Thomas Penn, Guardian
  • Engrossing … bursts with stabbings, poisonings, duels, eye-gougings, arquebus shootouts and people being run through with swords. Fletcher’s approach is scholarly yet dramatic, immersed in Renaissance glamour … a tremendous step forward in our knowledge of this intriguing man

    Alex von Tunzelmann, Spectator
  • More than just a forensic reconstruction of the period … Like a detective, Fletcher interrogates her witnesses … But it is among the detailed records of Alessandro’s wardrobe-keepers that she finds her treasure … These lend her narrative a sensuous vividity

    Frances Wilson, Sunday Telegraph

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